Croatia


Author:
Branko Skerlev, LLM, Attorney-at-Law in cooperation with BRADVICA MARIĆ WAHL CESAREC Law Firm (Zagreb, Croatia).

Contact:
E-Mail (
link) (LinkedIn) ( COVID-19: Specific legal information on BMWC.hr)


Overview of legal measures as of 24 May 2020 as response to the coronavirus. Please note: Due to the extraordinary situation, the legislation is in continuous evolution and may change very fast.

Introduction

CROATIA is a unitary state and a parliamentary democracy.

In accordance with the Act on the Protection from Communicable Diseases in the event of a communicable disease that may pose a threat to endanger the population to a greater extent the Government of Croatia may, at the proposal of the Minister of Health, declare such a disease an infectious disease whose prevention and control are of the national interest, as well as determine the appropriate control measures and conditions, methods and means of their implementation.

Based on the Act on Civil Protection System in case of serious disturbances such as pandemic the National Civil Protection Directorate is authorized to adopt decisions and instructions which are to be implemented by the civil protection directorates of local and regional units.

Starting 19 March 2020. the National Civil Protection Directorate has adopted the measures outlined below. The duration of the restrictions was initially limited to 30 days but in the meantime, it has been extended and relaxation of restrictions is announced for early May.

Apart from the interventions and restrictions adopted by the National Civil Protection Directorate, the Parliament and the Government adopted a set of measures to help fight the economical setback caused by pandemic.

1. INTERVENTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

1.1 Legal basis

Based on its legal competences to take measures to cope with a pandemic, the Civil Protection Directorate has adopted number of time-bound Decisions to deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

1.2 Border

As of 18 March 2020, entry into Croatia is refused to any person except the following:

  • Croatian citizens,

  • health professionals, health researchers and associates, senior care experts,

  • persons requiring urgent medical treatment,

  • cross-border workers

  • persons carrying commercial transport of goods and other transport personnel to the extent necessary,

  • persons entering for the purpose of transit with the intention and permission of continuing the journey directly to another country,

  • diplomatic personnel, services and teams of civil protection, international organizations personnel, international military personnel and police officer within the scope of their duties.

For all persons entering Croatia except for the purpose of transit, 2-week self-isolation is mandatory.

Transit road freight transport going through Croatia shall only be allowed if there is no direct connection between the country of origin and destination. Transit is possible only through limited number of border crossings and with a mandatory police escort.

Furthermore, all ships in the international navigation that have been imposed with self-isolation or quarantine measures are forbidden from sailing into Croatian ports unless they are one of the following:

  • Croatian ships,

  • ships carrying commercial transport of goods,

  • passenger ships with no passengers on board sailing into ports for the purpose of temporary standstill,

  • ships sailing into shipyards for the overhaul or repair purpose.

All the restrictions mentioned above are limited until 18 May 2020 for the time being.

1.3 Visas

So far there has been no discontinuation in issuing of visas.

1.4 Prohibition of crowds

Public events and gatherings of more than 5 persons, are prohibited.

In the case of gatherings of up to 5 persons, a distance is required of at least two metres when outdoors and at least one meter when indoors must be maintained between the individual persons.

The restrictions are limited until 4 May 2020 for the time being.

1.5 Lockdown

Schools and Universities
Classes at schools and universities as well as all kindergartens, pre-school and other education and training institutions are prohibited.

Kindergartens, pre-schools and elementary schools shall provide care services for children in cases where both parents are employed and there is no other possibility of childcare.

These restrictions are limited until 4 May 2020 for the time being.

Events and Businesses
Publicly accessible facilities are closed to the public and public events are forbidden, namely

  • shops except the ones providing essential services,

  • cultural establishments and events such as museums, theatres, cinemas, concert halls, libraries, exhibitions and trade shows,

  • cafes, bars, restaurants and other catering establishments except food delivery or take-out establishments, accommodation services, student canteens and soup kitchens,

  • establishments providing personal services involving physical contact such as hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlours, tattoo parlours saunas and swimming pools,

  • sport competitions and events, organized practices, leisure establishments such as playgrounds, gyms, fitness and recreational centres and other sport facilities,

  • workshops and other educations and trainings for children and adults,

  • driving schools, language schools, dance schools,

  • religious gatherings.

These restrictions are limited until 4 May 2020 for the time being.

Essential Services and Gatherings

Following essential shops are allowed:

  • grocery stores and other shops offering food and/or objects hygiene products,

  • markets and fish markets,

  • pharmacies, drugstores and shops for medical aids (e.g. glasses, hearing aids),

  • petrol stations,

  • kiosks,

  • bakeries,

  • dry cleaners,

  • shops offering veterinary products and/or animal foo,

  • distributional centres for food, beverages and hygiene products.

Other services and gatherings allowed are:

  • post offices,

  • banks,

  • public administration (e.g. contact points),

  • social institutions (e.g. contact points),

  • weddings and funerals within the close family circle,

  • care facilities such as hospitals, clinics and doctors' practices as well as practices and facilities of health care professionals under federal and cantonal law,

  • hotels and accommodation establishments,

  • food delivery or take-out establishments.

The opening hours of the facilities and services are every day from 8:00 to 17:00, except for petrol stations which have normal working hours.

The facilities and events mentioned above must comply with the recommendations regarding hygiene and social distancing. The number of persons present must be limited accordingly, and crowds of people must be prevented.

These restrictions are limited until 4 May 2020 for the time being.

Traffic restrictions
All public transport except for taxi service is temporarily suspended and all the railway and bus stations are closed.

These restrictions are limited until 24 May 2020 for the time being.

It is forbidden to leave the place of residence except with a permit issued for the following causes:

  • traffic and movement necessary for delivering supplies,

  • daily migration of workers in healthcare, veterinary care, drugs and medical supplies delivery, utility services and security services,

  • public reporting,

  • people requiring urgent medical care,

  • vital family reasons,

  • commuting if necessary when work cannot be done from home,

  • emergency services.

These restrictions shall be in place until decision is repealed. Upon the proposal of the regional authorities’ restrictions may be lifted within a region or a part of the region.

Working

Employers must:

  • enable working from home whenever possible,

  • postpone or cancel the meetings and all unnecessary business travel,

  • prohibit from coming to the workplace all employees who have fever or other respiratory infection symptoms.

All restrictions mentioned above are limited until 4 May 2020 for the time being.

1.6 Sanctions

In case of serious offence under the Criminal Act anyone who fails to comply with measures for the prevention and control of communicable disease among humans shall be punished by imprisonment for up to two years or up to three years if another person becomes infected.

Other than that, under the State Inspectorate Act administrative fine ranging from HRK 3.000,00 to HRK 120.000,00 may be imposed on anyone who violates or otherwise infringes any of the enforced restrictions.