Croatia to hold pilot events with bigger gatherings as COVID-19 vaccination progresses

(Xinhua) 08:45, May 11, 2021

ZAGREB, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Croatia will hold pilot events with bigger crowds not wearing masks or maintaining a physical distance, Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Korzinek announced on Monday.

Participants will be only those who either recovered from COVID-19 or were vaccinated with two doses of vaccines. The goal of the test events is to see if there will be any new infections, to prepare for the restarting of bigger cultural events and meetings in the summer.

The first of such events will be held on Thursday when there will be a business meeting with 80 to 100 people who are all vaccinated. The second one, a wedding simulation, will take place on Saturday with more than 100 guests who have been vaccinated, or infected in the last six months, or have a negative PCR test.

A similar pilot concert, attended by 4,500 people wearing masks, was organized in Spain in March, which caused no significant coronavirus transmission.

"We are in contact with foreign colleagues and we are following what is happening. Unlike other countries, Croatia kept theatres and cinemas open. Concerts were also allowed but with a limited number of people," the minister said.

She noted that bigger events could be organized as early as June, depending on the vaccination process. She stressed that the current epidemiological measures in the country will stay on, until the numbers of new infections and hospitalized people drop.

Krunoslav Capak, the chief epidemiologist in the country, said on Monday that the third wave of the pandemic is descending in Croatia.

"Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible to gain collective immunity," said Capak.

In the southeastern European country with four million people, around 900,000 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and 7.5 percent of them took two doses.

"We expect to consume all available vaccines to us by the end of June, and that will probably involve more than 55 percent of the adult population. This will allow us to enter the summer more peacefully and to have a successful tourist season," Capak said, noting that Monday's number of newly infected people is the lowest after a long time.

In the last 24 hours, there have been 253 new COVID-19 cases in Croatia, according to latest data on Monday. Since February 2020, when the first case of coronavirus was recorded in Croatia, a total of 344,747 people have been infected, and 7,503 of them have died, according to Croatian Institute of Public Health.

(Web editor: Shi Xi, Liang Jun)


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