Croatia on the UK's Amber list - what does it mean?
Holiday tips

Coronavirus - what are the restrictions on travel to Croatia?

In this post we provide advice for travel to Croatia in 2021. Croatia has faced second and third coronavirus waves but COVID infection rates have fallen rapidly during May and June.  Croatia allows entry to foreign tourists with a negative test or vaccination certificate. Croatia is currently on the UK's Amber List. Travel to Amber List countries for a holiday is not illegal but it is against Foreign Office advice. Ten days self-isolation at home is required on return (reduced to five with a negative test on day 5) but the government are thought to be considering relaxing the self isolation requirement for people who are fully vaccinated.

Last Updated -   17 June 2021 - 23:30 hours

UK travel restrictions for travel to Croatia.

The UK government's traffic light system for international travel puts Croatia on the Amber List. It is not illegal to travel on holiday to Amber List countries but UK Foreign Office advice is that you should not travel to these countries for leisure purposes. On return you must spend from five to ten days in self-isolation. You can return from countries on the Green List without undergoing a period of self-isolation and with fewer COVID test requirements.  Many of the countries on the Green List, for example New Zealand and Australia, won’t accept foreign tourists and others require a quarantine or self-isolation period on arrival. So in practice the Green List offers very limited scope for foreign holidays.  As infection rates decline and the numbers vaccinated increase more countries may be added to the Green List providing greater opportunity for holiday travel without the need for self-isolation on return.  However Sky News has reported that the UK government is considering relaxing the self isolation requirements for travellers arriving from Amber List countries if they are fully vaccinated.  

Green, Amber and Red lists. What does it mean?

The rules applying in each case are:
Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK  and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK. You will not need to self-isolate or quarantine on return (unless you receive a positive result).
Amber: arrivals will need to self-isolate at home for a period of 10 days. You will need to take a pre-departure test before returning back to the UK , as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight once back home. There will be the option to take an additional test on day five and if the result is negative you will be able to end your self-isolation.
Red: arrivals will from Red List countries will be required to undertake a  10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel (at their own expense) as well as taking a pre-departure test and mandatory PCR testing on day two and eight of the quarantine period.

Travelling on holiday from the UK to Amber List countries will no longer be illegal after 17 May. But Foreign Office (FCDO) advice is only to travel to Amber List countries for essential purposes. So if travelling to Croatia for a holiday you will not be breaking the law but you will be doing so against government advice.  The government will review the composition of the traffic light lists every 3 weeks from 17 May. Countries can be moved from Amber to Green (or back to Amber) on these review dates. Countries can be placed on the Red List at any time. 

The first traffic light review was released by the UK government on 3 June. There were no additions to the Green List. However Portugal was moved from Green to Amber with effect from 4am on Tuesday 8 June. Seven countries were moved from Amber to Red. Croatia remains on Amber

Additional information about tests for returning to the UK.
  1. The pre-departure test the must be taken within three days (72 hours) preceding your return.
  2. On arriving in the UK from an Amber  List country you must enter 10 days of self-isolation. You must return directly to your home and only use public transport if there is no alternative means of travel available to you. The first day of your 10 day period starts the day after you arrive.
  3. The mandatory PCR tests required on day 2 and day 8 must be taken at your own expense and must be booked in advance before return to the UK. Estimated cost of the two tests for one person is £90.
  4. If you break your self-isolation you can be fined up to £10,000. If you give incorrect information about the countries you have visited you can be fined up to £10,000 or face a jail sentence.

Can I get a pre-departure test in Croatia and how much does it cost?

There are COVID test centres in all the major tourist destinations in Croatia and more localised testing centres will open as the tourist season advances.
Cost for a test will vary between different test centres. The cost for a PCR test is typically around 50 euro with an additional charge for translation to English
Rapid antigen tests are likely to cost from 20-35 euros per test. An additional charge may apply if you require a translation of the certificate into English.

14 day infection rates

Croatia's 14 day infection rate per 100,000 population continues to fall and stood at 59.14 on June 17 having fallen from over 530 when the UK traffic light system was first introduced.  This rate is a key factor in determining which countries will be included in the UK's Green List. All the countries on the initial Green List had infection rates of under 50. Croatia is on course to reach that level. Portugal's rate rising to over 65, together with concerns about the spread of more infectious variants, was sufficient for Portugal to be moved from Green to Amber with effect from 8 June. Portugal's rate is now 87.20

To put Croatia's June 17 level of 59.14 in context, Italy had a rate of 48.0, Spain 133.90 and France 110.74. The UK rate which was in the low 40s when the Green list was initiated had risen to 131.30 from 40.67 three weeks earlier.

Restrictions applying to tourists arriving in Croatia

Croatia accepts all foreign travellers.
Croatia is open to all foreign tourists provided one of the following certificates can be shown on entry:

  1. A negative PCR or rapid antigen test dated no more than 48 hours prior to arriving in Croatia. 

  2. A certificate showing that you have had your second vaccine at least 14 days prior to arriving in Croatia (with Johnson and Johnson vaccine a single jab is enough).

  3. A certificate issued by a doctor confirming you have recovered from COVID not more than 180 days and not less than 11 days prior to arrival in Croatia together with a certificate showing that a first vaccination jab has ben received. . 

Children under 7 don’t need a negative test if their parents satisfy one of the above requirements.  

Quarantine or self-isolation is not required on arrival with only very limited exceptions. Currently travellers arriving from South Africa, Brazil, India and Zanzibar must comply with a 14 day period of self-isolation in the place where they are staying.
If you arrive in Croatia without one of the certificates listed above you can take a test on arrival and must then self-isolate until you get the results.

Other conditions for entry to Croatia.

If you are travelling from outside the EU you must have an economic interest for wishing to come to Croatia. This includes having pre-booked holiday accommodation. Holiday accommodation includes hotels, villas and holiday homes, apartments, camp site pitches and charter yachts. You will need to be prepared to show documentation at the border that you have pre-booked accommodation.
If you are travelling from within the EU you do not need to have pre-booked your accommodation. Only the COVID certificates listed above are required.

If you want to obtain an official confirmation of rights to entry for your specific circumstances you can go to this link on the Ministry of the Interior website to submit a request. We have been asked by readers of this blog to provide guidance on how this form should be completed. So here goes:


On opening the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) website pageyou will have the opportunity to select a language in which to complete the form; English, Croatian or German. 
Select a language and a new page will open with Questions and Answers. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and there is a form to complete to submit a question.

Fill in the form as follows:

  1. Fill in your email address.

  2. Select the country of which you are a national from the drop down

  3. The next box is pre filled with a “No” to say that you do not have the regulated status of an alien in that country. Leave this as “No” unless you are an alien in that country.

  4. From the Reason for Entry drop down select  “economic interest”.  If you have booked and paid for accommodation (or have an obligation to pay for it) you have an economic interest. This is your reason for entry. If you are entering on business select that option.

  5. From the Border Crossing drop down select the land border or airport you expect to enter by.  If you do not have a flight booked yet select  Zagreb (Zracni) - Zagreb Airport from the drop down.

  6. In box for you to type in your question just say “I am a [****] citizen travelling from [****]. Will I be permitted entry to Croatia provided I have arranged accommodation?” or something similar. Don’t go into too much detail or explanation.

  7. Select a date of entry: select your planned arrival date or if no date is fixed just select any date

  8. Where it says Type Control Number just type the number you see there into the box below. 

Then send the request.

Enter Croatia form.

The Croatian authorities introduced (29/05/2020) an online form which can be completed with all your travel and accommodation details. You can complete this form in advance and submit it online. The data will be stored and matched with your passport details when you enter Croatia. This will speed your entry at the border.  The form can be found on this link: Enter Croatia form.  This takes you to a page where you can select the language in which you want to complete the form. You can select one of ten languages. These include English, German, French, Italian, Polish and Croatian. The information you will need when you complete the form is:

  • The reason for Travel: select Tourist or as appropriate from the drop down list

  • Starting country: select from the drop down list the country you are travelling from   

  • Valid From and Valid to: these are your arrival and departure dates in Croatia

  • Lead Person in your group: name; date of birth; phone number; document type (eg passport), document number and issuer.

  • Citizenship

  • Email address

  • The same details for each member of your party which you add by clicking on the plus sign 

  • For each person you will be asked to answer yes or no to the following questions about COVID-19

    • Have you suffered from COVID-19? (replaces 'Have you recovered from COVID-19' in an earlier version of the form)

    • Have you travelled outside your county of residence in the last 14 days?

    • Are you under self-isolation in your country of residence?

    • Have you been in contact with a person who has recovered from COVID-19?

  • Details of you accommodation: name of accommodation; location; full address; dates of stay at the accommodation.

After submitting the form you will receive an email acknowledgement.

All travellers should complete this form. 

During 2020 we received many reports of tourists entering Croatia without being asked to show the form however we recommend that you complete it as it could speed your passage at the border. 

Complete the Enter Croatia form.

Email alerts.

As well as regularly updating this post we will send out email alerts when there is a significant announcement about travel restrictions or the opening of borders. 
Sign up to receive our email alerts.

Social distancing measures in Croatia

As from Friday 28 May a relaxation of social distancing meaures came into effect. Restaurants are permitted to serve meals indoors but cafes and bars that don't serve food  can only serve on outdoor terraces. 

There is no limit on the number of people who can gather in one place for a private gathering. Weddings ceremonies with up to 120 guests are possible but there are various reporting and testing measures that have to be observed.

Face masks must be worn on public transport and in shops.  

COVID levels in Croatia.

Statistics for 10 June 2021:
Number of active cases in Croatia: 1,290
Number of reported cases since the start of the pandemic: 358,245
Number of deaths in Croatia since the  start of the pandemic 8,110

Croatia got through the initial wave of COVID in Spring 2020 with low levels of infection. A second much more severe wave was experienced later in the year and peaked in December 2020.  A third, much less severe wave peaked in April 2021 and infection rates are currently falling rapidly. At 10 June 2021 the 14 day infection rate per 100,000 population was 87.42. Four weeks earlier it had been 535. To put that in context at 10 June the 14 day infection rate in the UK was 79.86, in Portugal it was 73.51. in Italy 67.47, and Spain 126.77.

Of the coastal areas Istria has the lowest infection rate with just 20 active cases at 10 June 2021.Dubrovnik Region had 53 active cases. Most areas have seen their active cases more than half over the last two weeks. 

COVID-19 cases by region as at 21 May 2021:
Istria county (includes the coastal resorts of Pula, Rovinj and Porec): Currently 20 active cases.
Primorsko-Goranska County (incudes the city of Rijeka and the coastal resort towns of Opatija and Lovran and the islands of Rab and Krk): 116 active cases.
Licko-Senjska County (includes much of the coastline between Rijeka to Zadar and the Plitvice Lakes National Park): 19 active cases.
Zadarska County (Zadar City and surrounding coastal towns): 85 active cases
Sibensko-Kninska County (includes Sibenik and Primosten on the coast and the Krka National Park): 60 active cases.
Splitsko Dalmatinska County (includes Split and Makarska and the central Dalmatian islands): 96 active cases.
Dubrovacko-Neretvaska County (includes Dubrovnik, Cavtat, the Peljesac peninsula and the Neretva delta): 15 active cases.

Social distancing rules in Croatia

Face masks must be worn in shops and on public transport including ferries. Restaurants and cafes are open but you must sit outside. National parks and most tourist attractions are open but some social distancing rules may apply.

European Health Insurance Card

UK citizens should note that the European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) has not been valid since 1 January 2021.  You must apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This will entitle you to access state-provided healthcare during a holiday in Croatia and other EU member states.

You are entitled to a GHIC card if you are ordinarily resident in the UK. Information about applying for a card can be found on this website: apply for a GHIC card.


We always advise taking out travel insurance at the time you book your flights or accommodation.  It is all the more important now to check the small print of your policy to be sure what cover you have in case you have to cancel your holiday due to coronavirus.  

Since the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a worldwide pandemic on 11 March 2020 many travel insurance companies have withdrawn cover for any claims relating to coronavirus on any new policies that they write.  Check your policy terms.

Secluded villa near Opatija

Villas better than hotels

A villa rather than a hotel holiday will be a good choice as if there are still distancing measures in place and risk of infection you have much greater privacy and distance from non family members if you are staying in a villa.

Secluded villas

If you wish to be ultra-cautious you can pick one of our secluded villas and keep well away from crowds and other holidaymakers. View our secluded villas.

Book a villa holiday now!

Search for a villa that suits your needs from our selection of over 500 hand-picked villas in Croatia. Browse our villas. Or call us on +44 1494 671359 for advice and guidance. We are happy to talk.

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Latest Updates to this post:

  • 11 June: data updates
  • 3 June 2021: BBC reports that there will be no additions to the Green List with the June 7 review
  • 28 May 2021: relaxation of social distancing measures in Croatia
  • 22 May 2021: Statistics update
  • 9 May 2021: Croatia on UK Amber list
  • 5 January 2021. Latest COVID Statistics and latest Croatian border restrictions
  • 10 October 2020. Latest COVID statistics
  • 22 August 2020. Croatia removed from UK travel corridor and 14 day quarantine required
  • 13 July 2020: Requirement for pre-booked accommodation no longer required for EU/UK/Schengen area nationals
  • 12 July 2020: Croatian Government imposes new entry restrictions. Non-EU/non-UK nationals entering Croatia must have negative COVID-19 test.
  • 03 July 2020: The UK government's travel corridor list includes Croatia. No quarantine requirement on return to the UK from 11 July.
  • 03 July 2020:  The UK FCO exempts Croatia from its global travel warning with effect from 4 July
  • 26 June 2020: We are able to report that US citizens flying from the USA to Zagreb were admitted entry to Croatia
  • 7 June 2020: Transit across Austria into Croatia permitted for tourists from Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  
  • 5 June 2020: Border Police Directorate have stated that visiting Croatia to stay with friends is not a valid reason for entry
  • 5 June 2020: Citizens of ten specified countries can enter Croatia without any restriction
  • 5 June 2020: The Enter Croatia online form is now in multiple languages.
  • 29 May 2020: New online Enter Croatia form to be completed in advance of travelling to Croatia
  • 28 May 2020: Guidance on completing the form to request confirmation from the Ministry of the Interior that entry to Croatia will be permitted
  • 21 May 2020: Confirmation from Border Police Directorate that borders are open to non-EU citizens as well as EU citizens
  • 18 May 2020. Croatian borders open to tourist with evidence that they have accommodation arranged
  • 11 May 2020: Foreign citizens permitted to enter Croatia for business
Written by Nigel Nowell  |   Jun 17, 2021PM