Croatia pays price in COVID-19 cases for lax approach to nightlife

ZAGREB (Reuters) - The number of daily COVID-19 cases peaked in Croatia on Friday as some neighbouring countries tighten measures for travel to Croatia potentially affecting summer tourism which has so far performed better than expected amid the pandemic. 'Today we recorded 208 new cases (of COVID-19)

Reuters August 15, 2020 01:12:38 IST
Croatia pays price in COVID-19 cases for lax approach to nightlife

Croatia pays price in COVID19 cases for lax approach to nightlife

ZAGREB (Reuters) - The number of daily COVID-19 cases peaked in Croatia on Friday as some neighbouring countries tighten measures for travel to Croatia potentially affecting summer tourism which has so far performed better than expected amid the pandemic.

"Today we recorded 208 new cases (of COVID-19). The average age of those infected is 31 years as some two thirds were infected in the nightclubs and bars that remain open beyond midnight," Croatia's chief epidemiologist Krunoslav Capak told a news conference.

So far Croatia, a country of 4 million people, has recorded 6,258 cases of COVID-19 and 163 deaths.

Austria on Friday warned against travel to Croatia.

Earlier this week Italy introduced mandatory coronavirus testing for everyone who enters Italy from Croatia. Slovenia also said it might tighten restrictions on travellers from Croatia who now need to show a negative coronavirus test to be able to visit Slovenia.

Several localised outbreaks in Europe, such as in Italy and Germany, have been traced back to travellers returning from trips to party hot spots in Croatia in the past couple of weeks, notably from the island of Pag.

From this weekend Croatia has decided to require that bars and nightclubs close after midnight for a period of 10 days, in an effort to reduce the number of infections.

Croatia had recorded relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases during the spring lockdown and during the reopening of its economy promoted itself as a safe destination for tourists.

The country this year expected around a third of the tourists who visit in comparison with previous summer seasons, but the number of tourists in July and August in many places reached even 60% to 70% of last year's figures. Travellers came from countries like Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Poland.

(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Additional reporting by James Mackenzie in Italy and Maria Sheahan in Germanyd; edited by Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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