ZAGREB, 6 May 2020 – The head of the Croatian Public Health Institute, Krunoslav Capak, was a guest on morning breakfast show Dobro jutro, Hrvatska on Wednesday where he talked about the current COVID-19 situation in Croatia.
Along with talking about the current epidemiological situation and the threat of a second wave in autumn, Capak discussed the summer and put locals keen on visiting the beaches at ease.
Capak says that citizens will definitely be able to head to the seaside this summer but it will not be like it was in the past.
“There will be no crowds on the beaches. There will be local council officers, beach owners, or concessionaires who will have to worry about making sure there is no physical contact – there will no longer be towels side by side,” he said.
When asked if citizens will be able to go to the islands, Capak said restrictions were being slowly lifted, but that some things could not be lifted all at once.
Allowing inter-county traffic is also being discussed and this current restriction is shortly expected to be lifted. If residents on the islands want their guests and tourists to come, everything can be organised, he said.
When asked when travel between counties will be possible without the need of an e-pass, he said that was also being discussed.
“We think it’s a little too early, considering what could follow. When the moment comes and these stages pass, it will be one of the first topics addressed,” he said.
Capak also explained briefly how cafes may look when they reopen next week.
“We will not give additional conditions here, Plexiglas will not have to be placed between everyone. The idea is that when a cashier sits at the cash register for plexiglass to be a barrier, but in cafes and restaurants it doesn’t make sense. We will look for basic measures, hygiene, and disinfection. I saw on Sunday at church a sign which said: “families can sit together”. This can also be done in restaurants. Everything can be organised and I hope this will start normally next week,” Capak said.
The Croatian Public Health Institute head said things can not go back to the way they were before COVID-19 and it is very important that everyone sticks to basic epidemiological measures of hygiene, disinfection, and physical distancing.
Capak says that the virus is present and care should be taken to ensure that it does not break out again.
“Look at the surrounding countries, there is little talk about it. Italy still has hundreds of deaths a day. We have made a great success, we must be careful not to have another wave happen. That second wave threatens us. We will have to let traffic in, people will come, we will go to Europe, without that there is no normal life, Capak said, before adding.
“Quarantine is good for stopping the spread, but it is not sustainable. People cannot function, there is social life or economy. If the virus retains these characteristics it has now, it is quite certain that it will return in the fall. However, who can say that until then, we will not have an effective cure, a vaccine, that we will not learn more about the virus so we can stop it. I hope it will be possible to not have to quarantine again,” he concluded.