I've been watching the Croatia travel situation, and right now they allow Americans to visit there as long as they have a 48 hours or more recent negative pcr Covid test, and documentation of where they are staying. Just read a trip report of someone who was there this month who came directly from the US with a connecting flight elsewhere in Europe IIRC. I'm wondering if the Croatian model might be something that other countries are thinking about, or possibly all the Schengen Zone countries would think about adopting it en masse, with such a requirement upon entry into the first Schengen country.
Rob, I'm not sure how closely you are following the Croatian situation, but they are now one of the main engines spurring this new second wave of COVID-19 across Europe. I highly doubt any European country will want to follow this "Croatian model". You can read more about it here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/tourists-in-croatia-help-feed-covid-19-surge-across-europe-11600684208
Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic say a rebound in infections since mid-July is driven in part by people returning from visits to Croatia. Between Aug. 10 and Sept. 6, travelers returning from Croatia accounted for 12% of all new Covid-19 cases in Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institut, Germany’s leading epidemiology institute. The country also topped the list of destinations where German residents were infected in the same period.
The Czech Republic is experiencing a record number of infections, which officials say was fueled by nearly 100,000 tourists returning from Croatia in August. In Austria, over a third of new cases came from returning vacationers earlier this month, more than a thousand of whom had been to Croatia.
In Croatia itself, the number of new daily cases grew from an early March peak of 96 to the 369 recorded on Sept. 3, the country’s daily record so far, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country has recorded a total of 14,279 infections so far for a total population of four million.
It should also be noted that it is not unrestricted travel within the Schengen area at the moment, many countries have restrictions such as requiring quarantine or negative tests.
Carlos, those are certainly bad numbers. Do foreign tourists from nearby countries have to show a negative test before arriving? Also, wonder if there is a pattern of how people were getting the virus there, like quite a bit of it coming from beach parties with lots of people close together, drinking, partying etc. or a more random spread pattern? Did Croatia have strong restrictions on close gatherings over the summer?
Anyway, overall I like the idea that whenever it does makes sense for a country to open up more to outside visitors a recent negative test sounds like an obvious and reasonable requirement for visitors, to go along with people practicing good judgement as well.
to go along with people practicing good judgement as well.
Lol. So far there is not a scintilla of evidence that is happening. Sorry to be blunt, but people are herd animals. The countries that have been successful have it figured out - people need to be told, not asked.
I read the same article a few days ago. Basically, it was a lot of young people partying, congregating in bars, restaurants, on beaches, etc. Basically another hot summer in a tourism hotspot. The problem was toothless guidelines in lieu of real mandates backed up by enforcement - i.e. throwing caution to the wind and business as usual.
"Authorities issued guidelines to bars, restaurants and entertainment venues about social distancing and masking, Dr. Capak said, but these weren’t mandatory. As a consequence, some venues operated without any restrictions."
There are only two economically desperate (enough) countries in Europe which are "open" to US visitors. Both in the Balkans (Croatia and Albania). The below sums it up:
“People have to make a living,” President Zoran Milanovic said in a recent broadcast interview. “Maybe it will not be too bad in the end” he added, pointing to low mortality rates so far."
Agnes, Turkey is also open, and last time I checked (a few weeks ago) so was Serbia and Ukraine. But that might have changed I guess.
I am guessing, and yes its a wild guess, that what they are trying to do is tweak the system to achieve a result that best suits the needs of their unique situation; healthcare capacity / deaths / feeding their citizens / etc. With such a small population, one party with 10 infections makes their numbers jump in percentages. The same would be a blip on the scale in France. Overall the net result for the duration of the pandemic puts their per capita numbers mid to low compared to many European countries. Maybe their value judgments, for their culture, their people, says this is acceptable. With so many unknowns and with such a fluid situation it would be hard to impossible to do it perfectly; but apparently they are looking at a larger picture than some other states. Until I walk in their shoes, rather than criticize I wish them the best and watch with great interest because methods have to be found and countries as brave as Croatia, experimenting and trying to define a good system should be commended.