The lockdown restrictions lifted. The dark curtain over the current pandemic has let in some light. A day of hope and a day to express our existence to the world again. This could be especially exciting to adventurers, travelers, and world lovers. The ones who love to absorb and experience the beautiful Earth. As today two major holiday destinations in Europe started to get up from the quarantine. We can see Italy and Croatia living again.
Is Monday, May 4 2020 a day to celebrate for tourism? Let's see what is happening and when it began.
April 23rd: Croatia lifted restrictions in three phases
April 23: The Croatian government lifted lockdown restrictions. In Zagreb the government announced measures to re-launch the economy and other activities after the Covid19 lockdown. This announcement regulates the gradual relaxation of restrictions which started on Monday 27th April.
The three phases of relaxation to be dated: April 27, May 4, and May 11.
Today is the second phase
So we have already seen the first phase of the lifted restrictions in Croatia. The opening of shopping centers, tourist agencies, libraries, museums, galleries and public city with suburban lines. This includes fast-speed lines to islands that are not connected with ferry lines.
The second phase of lifted restrictions starts today. We will see relaxation in restrictions for services such as cosmetic salons, barbers, hairdressers, and public health systems. So this refers to services where there is close contact with the client. However there will be some rules still to follow.
As of May 11 we will see inter-city bus routes, domestic air travel, and hospitality services re-launched. We will see accommodation premises re-open together with visitor attractions such as national parks.
You can read more about this in this article: "Croatia lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions in three phases from Monday"
Today: Italy lifted lockdown restrictions
Today on 4th May 2020 Italy finally began to lift the quarantine restrictions. We can observe trains packed with commuter workers going back to their jobs. The country started to lift the lockdown restrictions after two months.
This is a day of hope for many of us. A day that will show to the rest of Europe whether the tourism will stand up from its knees in 2020, or will it all have to wait until 2021.
Italy is now the second summer holiday country after Croatia to lift and relax restrictions.
Italian events, tourism, and hospitality industry
At the moment restaurants and bars in Italy can only offer take-aways. We can still see that the schools and theatres will remain shut. However the parks were allowed to open again and relatives can now see their families.
What could be seen as hope for the events and tourism is the re-launch of Gianluca Martucci. This company organizes wedding and corporate events in Italy.
It is also important to note that friend gatherings are still barred and most shops will re-open on May 18.
"Common sense is prevailing in this beginning phase," said Massimo Improta, a police officer in Rome. "We have not seen people without masks, we are not seeing gatherings.” (The New York Times)
So as of holidays, for now, will still probably be on hold, but the light is there now. Italy is a little slower and more careful than Croatia with the relaxation of lockdown rules. However we need to rememberer that Italy has been impacted much more than Croatia in this pandemic.
Croatia plans to attract tourists, despite pandemic
As for the travel lovers, who are brave and can't wait to get away Croatia may be the biggest hope of all in Europe for 2020. I am sure there are people like me who can't wait to get away from regular life and splashing in the sea or pool.
The spring of 2020 characterized by restrictions, travel bans and lockdown has probably accelerated the thoughts of getting away for some.
So Croatia is trying their best to still attract the peak season tourists this summer, and is by far the best at taking action for it to happen.
"We will try to reach 30 percent of our tourism receipts from last year, if possible, as we still have a possibility to think about July, August, and September arrivals," Cappelli told Reuters in an interview. (Aljazeera)
Summer 2020: Road trip to Croatia
Croatia is reachable by car travel from many European countries, such as: Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy.
"Croatia can be reached easily by car from those countries. If the epidemiological situation allows and the situation in those countries corresponds to ours, we could devise some model for the safe arrival and stay of our guests," he said. (Aljazeera)
You could even find that Croatia is reachable by car from the UK. That is of course if airlines do not resume. If you're interested in a road trip, you can read about what countries you can reach by car from the UK in my other blog post "The 8 Changes To The Travel Trends Post Covid19".
However on the bright side you can find that budget airlines such as WizzAir have now resumed some of the flights from London (The Telegraph). So if you're not into road trips, then there is hope for you too!
Coronavirus cases: Croatia, Italy and the UK
Just to look at the numbers, Croatia had 2,076 cases of Covid-19 and 69 deaths (Aljazeera). This in comparison to Italy or the UK is a very small number. Italy had 210,717 cases and 28,884 deaths so far (Worldometers, Italy). UK just under Italy with 186,599 cases and 28,446 deaths (Worldometers, UK). So we can see that Croatia has dealt with the situation better. Showing to tourists that Croatia can be safe.
So when we hear from Cappelli that Croatia is working on adapting the tourism industry with safety measures against Coronavirus, we can see in numbers that this can be our hope and future top destination for safe travel.
So will 2020 summer holidays resume in Europe?
This is still a mystery and the time will show. Italy and Croatia lifted restrictions in relation to coronavirus, but not all of them. However the information found today gives a light to the most passionate travellers. As for Italy the situations seem to be less clear than for Croatia today. This is due to the number of infections and the severity of the situation in each country.
We still need to wait for a clear message from WHO and our government on the advice for travel. But the lifted restrictions show the light for the inpatient, and for the ones who will be queuing in the airport as soon as it is physically possible.
This might be a good time to research the best places to visit in Croatia. You can start your research from here by visiting the following articles:
Let me know if you will be one of the first ones in the airport as soon as this is allowed ✌️