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Croatia: Cafes, restaurants, gyms to be closed, no wedding parties in following weeks

croatia covid measures

Zagreb (Photo: HINA/ Edvard ŠUŠAK)

ZAGREB, Nov 26 (Hina) – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday presented new epidemic prevention measures that go into force on Saturday, November 28 and last until Monday, December 21, including locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events.

“We called for maximum responsibility and solidarity and warned that the situation could quickly deteriorate if we do not adhere to measures. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded and now we are compelled to introduce additional restrictions to social life and economic activities in an effort to curb the spread of the epidemic,” Plenkovic told a press conference.

Public events with no more than 25 people

As of Saturday all public events and gatherings of more than 25 people are banned while private celebrations can be organised for 10 people at the most and they all have to end by 10 pm while all wedding parties are to be cancelled.

Masks are mandatory outdoors where a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres is not possible.

Up to 15 people can attend funerals but physical contact must be avoided when offering condolences. Cemetery administration is responsible to monitor whether these measures are being adhered to.

Tenants, building caretakers, employers and public institutions are obliged to regularly disinfect all common areas (handrails, lifts, working areas, lavatory facilities, etc.).

For those events that are allowed, at least four square metres per person must be ensured and premises need to be aired regularly as well as taking account that more people than prescribed are not present.

40% of available seats in public transport only

Only 40% of capacities in public transport may be used while transport providers need to identify available seats and both drivers and passengers are obliged to wear masks, properly at that.

Drivers must not allow anyone to enter public transport without a mask and this will be inspected by the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure and the Civil Protection Authority, State Inspectorate and police officers.

All retail outlets must clearly display notices of the maximum number of buyers at one time and they are obliged to introduce additional measures to limit the number of buyers during sales, discounts, pre-Christmas shopping and so on.

Hospitality facilities to be closed, food deliveries are allowed

Bakeries can stay open until 10 pm and the sale of alcohol is prohibited between 10 pm and 6 am. Casinos, gaming machine facilities and betting outlets are to be closed as well as all fairs and other commercial and tourism events for the promotion of products.

All hospitality facilities are to be closed down except those categorised as hotels and camps where restaurants and catering facilities within them can serve only those guests staying in those premises.

No sport events or training except for individual sports and highest category of sport events

Also banned are all sports competitions and training, except for athletes categorised in group I, II or III in individual sports or senior sports teams competing in the highest category of competitions. These events too can be held but without spectators and with strict epidemic prevention measures.

All gyms, fitness centres and sports and recreation facilities are to be closed.

A ban is imposed also on all amateur sporting and cultural and artistic events, practise sessions and the like including choirs. That refers to complex musical and drama acts including orchestras and choirs, children’s and other workshops and dance schools and the consumption of food and beverages during cinema screenings are banned.

Foreign language schools are to conduct lessons online only.

Recommended that Masses be televised or aired on TV and radio

Restrictions limiting audiences to 25 persons and ending at 10 pm do not refer to cinema projections and museum, gallery and other exhibitions as well as to professional artistic performances and programmes which do not include orchestras and choirs.

Driving lessons can provide online for lessons in theory while actual driving lessons can last for 45 minutes with the condition that students’ temperatures are measured prior to entering a vehicle and that at least 10 minutes go by between students and that vehicles are aired and disinfected. Evidence must be kept of all students attending lessons.

It is recommended that Masses be televised or aired on the radio however if Masses are held then they are subject to epidemiological measures regarding public gatherings.

Employers are obliged to ban workers from attending the workplace who have a temperature or breathing problems and to ensure the physical distance between work stations. Wherever possible work from home should be organised, flexible working hours and shift work to limit the number of people physically present as much as possible.

Possible fines for physical persons who do not adhere to measures

These measures will remain in force until at least December 21, said Plenkovic and announced that a bill would be put into motion that will enable penalties for physical persons who do not adhere to the measures.

“It is our intention to ensure the sustainability of the health system where doctors, nurses, health staff are making superhuman efforts to heal the sick and save lives. Parallel to this, we will strengthen capacities for testing because it is important to isolate every possible infected person.”

Plenkovic announced that additional measures to support the economy would be presented on Monday for all those businesses affected by these latest measures and that talks in that regard would be held in the next few days with the relevant stakeholders.

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