Slovenia adds neighbour Croatia to coronavirus quarantine list

LJUBLJANA, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Slovenia on Thursday added neighbouring Croatia to its quarantine list, meaning that returning travellers will have to self-isolate.

The decision to put Croatia on the list already comprising nearly 60 countries will come into effect at midnight, Interior Minister Ales Hojs said.

Travellers already in Croatia will be able to avoid a requirement to quarantine themselves for 14 days if they return to Slovenia before midnight on Monday, Hojs added.

Croatia escaped the worst of the first wave of the pandemic owing to swift lockdowns and a lack of tourist arrivals at the tail-end of winter, promoting itself as a safe destination for tourists.

But on Thursday it registered 255 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 7,329.

Slovenia has recorded 2,356 COVID-19 cases, dozens of which have been traced to people returning from trips to party hot spots in Croatia in the past couple of weeks.

According to Croatia’s tourist board, more than 140,000 Slovenes visited the Adriatic country this month.

On Thursday, Britain also added Croatia to its quarantine list while Germany advised against travel to the regions of Sibenik-Knin and Split Dalmatia, which are popular with tourists, after the public health agency declared them coronavirus risk regions, making tests for returnees mandatory.

Croatia is the source of the third-highest number of infections among people returning to Germany, after Kosovo and Turkey, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

“We arrived here 10 days ago, it’s quite different here than in Germany, like the masks - when you go to shopping they don’t take it seriously, I think,” Cheyenne Maschkewitz, a tourist from Germany, told Reuters in the Adriatic city of Split.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo and Antonio Bronic in Split; Editing by