Croatia reiterated its stance on continuing to allow American travelers into the country despite the European Union’s recommendation to impose stricter measures on tourists from the United States due to the high rates of COVID-19 infection.
At a meeting of interior ministers in Brussels, Croatian Minister Davor Bozinovic stated that his country would not follow EU recommendations this time either, TheSchengen.com reports.
“This is a recommendation. There were situations before where Croatia did not follow the recommendations of the European Union, so when it comes to American citizens, it will not do this time either. We know that Americans mostly come to us as tourists, which means that they have fulfilled all the epidemiological conditions to come ”, Bozinovich said.
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The European Union has also recommended that stricter rules should be applied to arrivals from Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, where countries have seen a significant increase in infection rates recently.
However, according to Juarnji newspaper, Bozinovic said that Croatian health authorities assess that American and Israeli citizens do not pose an epidemic risk to the country.
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Currently, US travelers arriving in Croatia must submit a negative PCR or antigen test performed within 72 hours of departure. If such a test cannot be provided, travelers are required to undergo a PCR or antigen test on arrival at their own expense and self-isolate until the result is released. If the test cannot be taken, the traveler must be quarantined for ten days.
However, these rules do not apply to those who have been fully vaccinated against the virus or those who can present a recovery certificate.
It is the first country in Europe to set the maximum validity of a certificate of vaccination, set for 210 days after its holder was vaccinated with the second injection of the COVID vaccine.
Unlike Croatia, the first country to subject American travelers to more stringent procedures is Italy, which requires them to submit a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen test before arriving in the country, followed by a digital entry form. For those who have not been vaccinated, the Italian authorities require that in addition to these measures, a five-day quarantine and PCR or antigen testing are performed on the last day of self-isolation.
Belgium and Germany had already imposed strict requirements on US citizens, days before the EU recommendations.
Croatia and the United States share very close diplomatic relations, with the latter having nominated Croatia for the Visa Waiver Program, a program that allows Croats to enter the United States for tourism or business purposes without the need to obtain a visa.
The United States has reported 632,983 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1,849 deaths in the past 24 hours. Israel has confirmed 7,043 positive cases and nine deaths, while Montenegro has reported four deaths and 412 infections. WHO data further reveals that North Macedonia has seen 32 deaths from the coronavirus and 294 positive cases, while 20 people in Kosovo have died from the virus and 932 have tested positive.
On the other hand, Croatia, which has a population of more than ten million, has reported three deaths linked to the coronavirus and 668 positive cases in the past 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization.