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Croatia relaxing restrictions for schools and outdoor sports

ZAGREB, 28 January (Hina) – Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Thursday that as of 1 February relaxation of some epidemiological measures will make it possible for a majority of pupils to have face to face school and training sessions can be held for outdoor sports.

Due to the positive trends, we have decided to allow some relaxation, which are not that great but are significant for part of the population. We are focussing on children and have decided that all elementary school children can return to school, Božinović said at a cabinet meeting.

As of Monday, opportunities for sports activities are being expanded which includes training and recreation but only outdoors. The use of swimming pools and sport balloons for individual contactless sports will also be allowed as the virus is less likely to spread through chloride and in ventilated premises.

These relaxed measures do not relate to the use of common areas such as showers and dressing rooms.

“This is still not the moment to open sports halls for sport events,” Božinović underlined.

Croatia lockdown

Interior Minister Davor Božinovic (Photo: HINA/ Daniel KASAP)

He also claimed that along with Estonia, Croatia has the mildest epidemiological restrictions in the EU.

The new measures will be in force from 1 to 15 February, while Božinović hopes that a new revision will follow after that.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković noted that the situation continued to be favourable compared to the situation of several weeks ago but that caution was still necessary.

“In the past seven days we registered 3,652 new cases of the infection. The daily average was 522, which is as much as seven times less than a month and a half ago, when we had more than 25,000 new cases in a single week. The mortality rate is also declining even though those figures are several weeks behind in relation to the number of new infections,” Plenković said at a government session.

Plenković presents National Development Strategy to parliament

PM Andrej Plenković (Photo: HINA/ Edvard ŠUŠAK)

This points to the need for caution, he said, adding that the matter was also discussed by the European Council which, considering new virus strains, had warned all member-states to be cautious and expressed a wish for coordinating a possible tightening or easing of restrictions.

“Considering certain delays in the distribution of the vaccine, I believe it is time for a signal of optimism but also for a very high degree of caution. That is why after a thorough analysis of trends in Europe and at home, we have decided to relax restrictions just in the two sectors,” said the PM.


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