As of 4am on Saturday morning, travellers returning to the UK from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago must quarantine for 14 days. The UK government decided to remove the countries from the safe list following a spike in coronavirus cases. On Friday, there were around 17,000 British tourists in Croatia according to the country’s national tourism board.
But despite Croatia experiencing a sudden spike in coronavirus cases, the country’s total cases and deaths remain low.
At the time of writing, the country has recorded 7,900 cases of coronavirus and 170 deaths with 265 new cases being recorded yesterday.
This is low compared to other European countries such as Spain which has recorded over 400,000 cases, the UK which has recorded 324,601 and Italy which has recorded 258,136.
The move has disappointed many British tourists and the country of Croatia itself.
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Croatia’s Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Frano Matušić told Sky News that he was “disappointed” by the UK government’s decision.
He said: “We think that this decision was not fair. Because we think that Croatia is a really safe destination. Croatia is on the list for many European countries as a safe destination still.
“It is true that we have some several hotspots in Croatia, but we didn’t register until now, any infections in hotels camps and other accommodation facilities.
“So we appeal to UK government to replace this 14 days quarantine measure by reliable tests.
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“We are really disappointed by this.This will adversely affect the continuation of the season.
“From August 1 until August 20 we had around 62,000 arrivals from United Kingdom and more than, 350,000 of overnight stays.
“So this decision will definitely negatively affect the continuation of the tourist season in Croatia.”
Passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport after today’s early morning deadline said they had ”no time” to travel back from the country ahead of the looming deadline.
Croatia: “We think that this decision was not fair” (stock image)
Two sisters returning from Dubrovnik had to get an overnight ferry to Italy before flying home to the UK.
Speaking to the PA news agency at Heathrow the sisters Karen and Dionne Emery said: “It’s not like coming back from France, there’s no way out in time.
“They should have given us until Monday, so we could plan a way out, but there wasn’t enough time so our holiday has been cut short.
“They should have never let us go abroad, it’s a disgrace, we knew this could happen but there was no support, no advice from the government, we were pretty much forgotten about, we were all on our own.”
A London-based tech worker also said they wished they had more time to return to the UK.
Another man called Simon returning to the UK from Croatia said he felt that Croatia seemed “as safe as anywhere”.
Global tourism 2020
He said: “Well it’s annoying because it seemed perfectly safe over there, as safe as anywhere else.
“I’m going to be able to work, but life in general will be paused and being in lockdown again won’t be much fun.”
However, some Twitter users are supporting the government’s decision, saying that people shouldn’t be looking to travel abroad during a pandemic.
One user said: “If you’ve made a choice to fly in a pandemic, you have to take it on the chin!”
Another said: “What is this British obsession with holidaying abroad?
“Especially in the middle of a global pandemic. Are they idiots (don’t answer that)?!”
Another said: “Holiday makers in Croatia saying they would of preferred more notice…. pretty sure this pandemic has been around for a million months now.”