boats in a harbor

Europe famously excluded Americans from travel to most of the continent for summer 2020, but not all. Croatia was one of the few countries that said “come on down”, requiring few stipulations to do so, if you were traveling with a confirmed accommodation reservation and a couple other easy pieces of paper. But in response to a slight spike in covid-19, which the country has largely avoided, Croatia is tightening entry requirements for US visitors, and also those on the EU’s approved country list.

a harbor with boats and buildingsCroatia Tightens Tourist Entry Requirements

If you’re visiting Croatia as an EU/EEA/UK resident, traveling from one of these areas, entry is just as it was before. There’s no covid-19 testing or isolation required for you, and your trip can start immediately. Croatia is a fantastic destination, particularly this summer, and it’s open, so go.

But as of July 10th, the Croatian Government has added mandatory proof of a recent negative covid-19 test to tourism entry requirements for those hoping to visit from outside Europe – aka Americans and others. Without one, you’ll now be expected to quarantine for up to 14 days. Even with one, you’d be expected to limit contact and wear a mask.

Shorter trips are fine, but without a negative covid-19 test, you’d still be expected to isolate. Here’s the official guidance from the Croatian Government resource

“Passengers entering the Republic of Croatia for tourism or other business reasons or having other economic interest, as well as persons travelling for educational purposes may enter Croatia without the obligation of self-isolation upon presentation of a negative nasal and pharynx swab test for SARS-CoV-2, not older than 48 hours (starting from the time of taking the swab until arrival at the border crossing), or with the obligation of 14 days quarantine/self-isolation if they do not have a negative PCR test.

Who now needs a covid-19 test to enter Croatia for tourism?

Well, pretty much everyone coming from outside of the European Union, European Economic Area, and the UK. Even countries on the EU approved travel list are now subject to the negative covid-19 test requirement, as are any other visitors who would like to enter. As noted, Americans are still allowed to enter, as are nationals from most countries not on the official EU list, they’ll just need a test.

Visitors from the following countries will absolutely need a recent, certified negative covid-19 test to enter Croatia as of July 10th. The changes are in effect immediately…

Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, United States of America.

The Croatian Government explains that anyone exempted from isolation via the negative recent covid-19 test should take practical measures to ensure safety for all upon entry, including limiting trips time outside of your accommodation, wearing masks in public, avoiding public transport where possible and using contactless/credit card payment instead of cash.

a close up of a passportCroatia Travel: Still Worth It?

Croatia is way up there on the list of travel “musts” for many reasons, thanks to stunning coast line, charming cities and a welcoming culture, not to mention fantastic value. With the new requirements, many Americans and other visitors will be hard pressed to receive a timely covid-19 certificate, which is still within 48 hours of certification at the time of crossing the border.

Most US and other visitors would face at least 12 hours of travel time, by the time their flight connection from the USA transits via a European hub, creating a relatively small window to get things done. The expectation even for those who do produce a timely negative covid-19 test to limit outside contact and wear masks may also limit the “fun” factor, though it’s of course vital to limiting further spread.

Croatia is still possible for travelers outside of the EU, but now not without a little bit of hassle. The question is: too much for you?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Croatia is a Trojan horse in Europe. After allowing the entry of individual of 3rld countries there could be new wave spreading troughout Europe as there ten of thousands Europeans holidaying in Croatia. I guess we will see spikes in lot of EU countries in late summer. But they so desperate for tourist money.

  2. Today European Union member Hungary reinstated border controls, announced strict quarantine measures for international travelers and added more countries to their red and yellow flag list, many in the Balkans. Meaning? Meaning this thing is not over, done, finished.

    Croatia, eager for tourist cash like all countries, is indeed seeing a resurgence in the pathogen. The contagion has also spread in non-EU member Serbia where four days of protests, riots have taken place. Serbia too was a loose country when it came to restrictions. Serbia is very close with Russia and Communist China. Chinese air carriers continued to bring in tens of thousands of Chinese during the worst days of the virus spread. It’s all about money. China bankrolls many infrastructure projects in Serbia – and throughout the Balkans. So, the pressure to continue to allow Chinese into these countries was high.

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