Croatia is for Displaced Lovers

  • My partner can drive and enter Slovenia and Croatia as freely as before.
  • I will need to print and fill out Italy’s self-declaration form to show at the borders along with my passport (not just at the Slovenia-Italy border but also the Croatia-Slovenia border).
  • Slovenia has put out a guideline for those who just want to transit through the country. To do so, we need to have documentation that outlines the purpose of the journey and final destination (hence needing Italy’s self-declaration form at the Croatia-Slovenia border), we must exit the country within 12 hours of entering, we must not make any unnecessary stops (outside of buying food or gas or going to the bathroom), we must stay on the main route, and we are not allowed to stay overnight even if it falls within the 12 hour period.
  • To leave Slovenia, even though my partner can travel at-will through any route, because of me, we will need to use one of the four identified border crossing passages. They can be found here: https://www.policija.si/eng/newsroom/news-archive/103470-crossing-the-state-border-during-the-coronavirus-epidemic
  • To receive my boarding passes in Los Angeles, KLM was strict about making sure I had a print out of the Croatia Entry Form confirmation page; a return ticket that was within 90 days, or a plausible explanation for exceptions (I had a return ticket out of Italy that was beyond 90 days because I am driving to Italy well before my 90 days in Croatia are up); and the correct weight for all of my luggage.
  • The flight to Amsterdam was mostly empty as everyone got a whole row to themselves and no one occupied the last third of the plane. We had to have our masks on the entire flight except when consuming food or beverages. Meal and beverage services were reduced. Otherwise, it was like any other flight.
  • Since I was only transiting through Amsterdam, I didn’t have to prepare any documents for the Netherlands. Once I landed, I was able to walk through the terminal to my connecting flight. Schipol Airport was much more active than LAX with many of the shops open, though cafes had limited their seating options.
  • The flight to Zagreb was full with each seat occupied. Aside from everyone wearing a mask, it was a taste of normalcy.
  • Once I landed in Zagreb and I spoke to the immigration officer, he asked where I was coming from; if I had gotten the COVID test; why I hadn’t gotten it; and if I was aware of the 14-day quarantine policy. He also took down the address of my first night’s stay and my phone number. He didn’t ask for my Entry Form but he did hand me printouts with phone numbers of epidemiologists on-call in various regions throughout Croatia. He also told me I could call the one in Zagreb to schedule getting tested that day or the next and that I will not have to quarantine if I get a negative result.
  • I took an Uber from the airport (which picks up from Departures on the 2nd floor/upper level) and checked-in to my Airbnb. As soon as I settled down, I called the epidemiologist for Zagreb, who picked up right away, informed me that testing is done every day from 8 am to 2 pm, and the cost is 696kn or roughly $108.
  • I took an Uber to the testing site, which is adjacent to the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases — just north of it. All signs were in Croatian so I didn’t know where to go or what to do but the security guard begrudgingly pointed me in the right direction.
  • First, I had to register for the test in one building, filling out two short forms with my name, birthday, signature, and e-mail address. Next, I had to pay for the test in another building. Then, finally, I had to locate the so-called “mobile unit” for testing. I saw two people in lab coats walk towards the main building and asked them where to go. It turns out they are the ones who administer the tests and since it was 1:59 pm, they said they were done for the day. I mentioned I had already paid and showed them my receipt to which they, also begrudgingly, turned around to administer the test for me. Testing takes place in an office trailer around the corner and out-of-sight of the main building.
  • The test was very quick. I met them at the front door, was told not to go inside, pulled my mask off my nose, and had a long swab inserted into my nostril and swirled around a couple of times. They confirmed my email address and said I would receive results the next morning. (I received results that night around 9 pm).
  • From the testing site, I took an Uber back to the city center, went grocery shopping, and returned to my Airbnb.
  • My passport, which does not expire for several years. This is obvious but even before COVID if a passport was going to expire within the next six months of travel, one often had issues crossing borders.
  • An Airbnb booked for the duration of my quarantine. I debated between staying in the city center for the convenience and quick access to supplies, and outside of it for more space and comfortable living quarters. I ultimately went with comfort as my host mentioned I will be able to use Glovo to have groceries delivered. I will also be packing non-perishable staples in my suitcase as if this were a camping trip. I heard the police or immigration officers are diligently performing random checks on tourists to make sure they are quarantining where they said they would.
  • Updated my information with KLM, with whom I am flying. I provided my passport number and the address of the Airbnb in Zagreb.
  • Printed out the Health Declaration Form for the Netherlands. I am flying through Amsterdam and have a two-hour layover there. I believe this form will be provided at the airport at check-in but I will bring my own copy just in case.
  • Filled out and submitted the Enter Croatia form. They ask for the same information as the airlines and it is highly recommended it is filled out before departure.

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UX Design Strategist and Intuitive Guide

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Erika Mariko

Erika Mariko

UX Design Strategist and Intuitive Guide

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