Wearing face coverings during flights and in Croatian territory is now optional
The Croatian government recently announced new regulations and stated that masks are only mandatory in hospitals and care centers. Following the government’s lead, flag carrier Croatia Airlines also announced the end of their in-flight mask policy, instated in March 2020, becoming the latest airline to drop the mandate.
Now Croatia Airlines joins the list of carriers that have removed mask measures which includes other airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and KLM. However, Croatia Airlines clarified that they still recommend travelers with delicate health or with a higher risk of infection wear face coverings on board.
Croatia Airlines recently boosted its flight schedules for the summer season and expanded its international destinations and networks. Passengers taking routes from Split —Split Airport is Croatia’s busiest airport— to Amsterdam, Bucharest, Dublin, Milan, and Stockholm, the new seasonal services, can also take advantage of the optional face-covering policy.
It is great news for travelers, especially considering that Croatia has been a wonderful vacation destination for years. Before the pandemic, in 2019, Croatia hosted 19.6 million travelers eager to explore the fascinating walled Old Town of Dubrovnik, the coastal city of Split, or experience the vibrant capital Zagreb.
Travel Off Path visited Dubrovnik in the summer of 2021, when visitor numbers were still a small percentage of what they were in 2019. While tourism is set to further rebound this summer, it still won’t hit pre-pandemic levels of visitors. If you’ve been dreaming about doing a Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik without the elbow to elbow crowds, make a trip to Croatia a priority while you still have the opportunity.
Travelers Entry Requirements for Croatia
Last Saturday Croatians started a living under less restricted rules. Davor Božinović, Interior Minister of Croatia, announced last week that Covid restrictions were being abolished.
According to the information shared by Croatia Week, Krunoslav Capak, The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), also explained that over 70% of the population have received vaccination and 600,000 people diagnosed have acquired immunity.
The government also shared valuable information about travel. Božinović said: “Third-country (Non-EU) nationals can enter Croatia with a COVID certificate. As for EU citizens, they will no longer need certificates to enter Croatia.”
Those arriving from countries from the European Union will not be required to provide proof of vaccinations or tests.
However, American and Canadian travelers arriving from nations outside the EU must still follow certain rules and present one of these requirements:
- Show a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival, or
- Provide a vaccination certificate (last dose taken more than 14 days prior to arrival) with proof booster dose (with more than 11 days and less than 270 days prior to arrival), or
- Take a rapid antigen test or a PCR test upon arrival.
The US Embassy in Croatia shared more details about travel and mentioned that COVID-19 tests (PCR and rapid antigen) can cost from $40 to $150 depending on the location and the type of test for travelers who might need tests to return home.
It is also recommended to stay up to date and visit the Croatian Government’s Ministry of Interior Webpage and fill out the travelers’ form with anticipation to accelerate the entry process.
There are no curfews in place and there are no restrictions on intercity or interstate travel, so those who comply with all requirements can freely travel and enjoy their stay.
Flying In Europe Is Starting To Feel Like In 2019
Traveling is starting to feel “normal” again in Europe. During the past few weeks, 13 countries have removed entry requirements, including top destinations such as The United Kingdom and Denmark, and travelers have already started to see the benefits and new travel opportunities.
Those planning to travel to European destinations during summer can consider carriers that do not require face coverings before buying flights. These are all the airlines that have removed mask restrictions at the moment:
- British Airways
- Croatia Airlines
- Iceland Air
- Norwegian Airlines
- SAS (only when traveling to Denmark, Norway or Sweden.)
- Virgin Atlantic
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories