ZAGREB, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Croatia will gradually loosen restrictive measures for COVID-19 outbreak starting late this month, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced on Thursday
At a government session, Plenkovic announced that the relaxation will happen in three phases, with the first phase starting on April 27, the second a week later on May 4, and the third on May 11.
In the first phase, all shops except those in shopping malls will be allowed to reopen. Public city transport and inter-city transport are also opening, as well as museums, libraries, and bookstores.
The second phase begins when the public health system will start to function in its full capacity and when the private health system will open as well. Hairdressers, beauty salons, and other similar businesses with a close social contact will open but they will have to follow epidemiological measures.
In the third phase, day-cares and lower-grade primary school classes will open. Domestic air transport will be introduced as well as inter-county travel lines. Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed. National parks, shopping malls, and some bars and restaurants in the open space will start working.
All three phases presume adherence to physical distancing and the highest hygiene standards. Employers are obligated to organize working conditions in line with epidemiological measures and, where possible, allow working from home.
Plenkovic said at the government session that the epidemiological situation in Croatia is under control.
"We haven't had a three-digit increase of new cases in a single day. Thanks to the epidemiological measures and responsible behavior of citizens we have succeeded in this," he said.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that we can immediately go back to the old, because we would then lose everything that was achieved," Plenkovic said.
Croatia now has a total of 1,981 COVID-19 cases and 50 deaths, according to the National Civil Protection Headquarters. Enditem