Croatia opens up to US tourists despite EU travel ban

Posted: 13 July 2020 11:05 am

The coastal nation along the Adriatic Sea is now welcoming US travelers — here’s what to know.

Croatia is allowing US citizens to enter the country for business, tourism and urgent personal reasons, according to a recent statement released by the US embassy in Zagreb. This is in spite of the EU’s earlier recommendation that US residents be restricted from traveling to member nations.

As a third-party national — that is, an American resident not part of the EU — you’ll need to provide proof of your reason for visiting Croatia. A confirmation showing a reservation for accommodation will suffice.

If you have questions about whether your reason for entry is valid, you can fill out a form on the embassy’s website to request an email response. Staying with a friend, for example, may not be an acceptable reason unless you’re there for a wedding, funeral or other urgency.

On July 3rd, Croatia reported 3,008 total cases of coronavirus — one of the lowest overall infection rates in Europe. However, keep in mind that the US State Department’s Level 4 travel advisory is still in place, which urges American citizens to “avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.”

Will US citizens be required to quarantine in Croatia?

No — US citizens traveling to Croatia won’t be required to self-isolate upon arrival. Instead, they’ll be provided with a pamphlet from the Croatian Institute of Public Health with recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 — including hand-washing and maintaining a distance of six feet from others when going out in public. These recommendations should be followed for 14 days after entering the country.

Keep in mind that wearing a mask is mandatory while taking public transport in Croatia, which includes taking a public ferry from, say, Drvenik to Sućuraj or a train from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. To prepare, be sure to stock up on masks beforehand as part of your coronavirus travel kit.

Can I book a tour in Croatia?

Yes — you can book tours in Croatia that depart as soon as Saturday, July 11th. Many tour operators and third-party vendors such as Viator and TourRadar are offering flexible policies to help lower the risk of cancellation. For example, you could book a day trip along the Dalmation Coast or an adventure through Plitvice Lakes National Park. There are also small ship cruises available, so you can visit islands including Split, Stari Grad, Hvar and Makarska.

Get in touch with each tour operator directly to learn about the safety measures they’ve adopted in response to COVID-19.

Booking a flight from the US to Croatia

You can book a flight from the US to Croatia with routes from major US cities including New York, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and more — though options may be sparse due to restricted flight schedules.

You can use a tool like Skyscanner, which allows you to filter by tickets from the US to Croatia with flexible cancellation policies.

Photo: Getty Images

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