(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Croatia, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic
Croatia has had one of the highest death rates in Europe from Covid-19. While the country reopened to tourists for the 2021 summer season, it is beginning to see another rise in coronavirus cases.
What's on offer
Its coastline and myriad islands have helped make Croatia the perfect summer escape for travelers keen on something a bit less obvious than Greece, Italy or Spain. Dubrovnik, with its historic old town and ancient walls, is a key stop off for cruise liners, but the whole coast is a joy, from Roman remains in Pula and Split to picture perfect islands such as Korčula.
Who can go
The borders are now open, although travelers need either an EU Digital Covid Certificate, or proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid-19, or a negative test. Arrivals from some destinations are subject to quarantine -- see below -- and anyone coming from a non-European destination will need a confirmed accommodation booking.
What are the restrictions?
From December 1, travelers arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Hong Kong, or those who have visited any of these destinations in the past 14 days, are not permitted to enter Croatia due to the discovery of the Omicron variant.
Passengers arriving from EU and Schengen-associated countries, whatever their nationality, are allowed into Croatia on the production of an EU Digital Covid Certificate. If you don't have one, you must produce either a vaccination certificate (of a vaccination approved for use in the EU), with vaccine completed within the past 270 days; a certificate of recovery from Covid-19, along with proof of at least one dose of vaccine within eight months of contracting the disease; or a negative PCR test or a rapid antigen test recognized by the EU (see here for a list) taken within 72 or 48 hours respectively.
Otherwise, you can opt to get a test on arrival and then self-isolate until you get a negative result, or for 10 days. The same rules apply for third-country nationals resident in the EU, or EU nationals resident abroad.
However, if the country or area you are arriving from is listed as "red" or "dark red" by the European Center for Disease Control, there are extra restrictions -- see below.
The borders are officially closed to third-country nationals, but tourism is a valid exception. You must bring a certificate of paid accommodation (in a hotel, private rental, campsite or rented boat), in addition to the paperwork above.
There are additional measures for arrivals from the countries listed as high risk by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, regardless of vaccination status. Those from South Africa, Zanzibar and Tanzania must produce a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival, and then must self-isolate for 14 days.
Travelers from Brazil are no longer required to quarantine. However, on arrival they must produce a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 48 hours.
As of October 1, fully vaccinated travelers from the UK, Cyprus and Russia are no longer required to present a negative PCR test on arrival provided they submit proof of vaccination. But unvaccinated travelers are still subject to this rule.
Countries or regions which are on the "red" or "dark red" list of the European Center for Disease Control must also abide by these same. For a full list, see here.
What's the Covid situation?
Croatia has seen Europe's eighth highest death rate per capita, just below Italy. The country missed its goal of vaccinating half all adults with a single dose by July 1 -- as of December 2, nearly 48% have been vaccinated. As a result, it is seeing a growing number of cases linked to the Delta variant, and officials have warned of further restrictions being imposed from autumn. As of December 2, there have been 613,914 cases and 10,967 deaths.
What can visitors expect?
While Croatia has reopened, many restrictions remain in place. Masks are mandatory indoors and in all enclosed spaces, as well as outside where social distancing of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.
Cafes, clubs and restaurants are open but are subject to curfews and capacity rules, while only those with an EU Digital Covid Certificate are permitted to attend indoor gatherings of more than 50 people.
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