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Croatia closes almost everything down as strict new rules come into force

(Photo credit: HINA/ Damir SENÈAR/ ds)

ZAGREB, March 18 (Hina) – The Deputy Prime Minister and head of the National Civil Protection Authority, Davor Bozinovic, announced on Wednesday that as of midnight all public events and gatherings would be banned and all cafes, restaurants and shops, except those selling food and hygienic products, would have to be closed.

The National Civil Protection authority were given greater powers amid the coronavirus epidemic after amendments were voted in by the parliament on Wednesday. 

Speaking at the daily afternoon press conference, Bozinovic announced that almost everything in Croatia would close, effective at midnight. 

“A decision is being prepared under which all public events and gatherings in Croatia will be cancelled. All services that are not essential to the everyday functioning of community, such as saunas, swimming pools, cinemas, night clubs, discotheques and the like, will be suspended,” Bozinovic told a regular press conference.

All museums, theatres, dance schools, libraries, exhibitions, hairdressers, beauticians, fitness centres and gyms will also be closed and all sports competitions, religious gatherings and the like will be cancelled.

(Photo: HINA/ Damir SENÈAR/ ds)

Bozinovic said that all hospitality facilities will be closed, except those engaging in food preparation and delivery and soup kitchens.

All shops will close down except those for the sale of food and hygienic articles. Pharmacies, banks, petrol stations, bakeries, kiosks, specialised stores with children’s equipment and for the disabled, pet food shops and the like will remain open.

The ban will be in force for 30 days. Earlier this week, schools and universities shut down across the country.

Six new cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed in Croatia this afternoon, bringing their number to 87. There were still no confirmed deaths.

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