Croatia and Montenegro have tightened rules against the new coronavirus along the Adriatic Sea coast in an effort to save the summer tourist season amid a surge in infections.
Croatia said on Friday that gatherings would be limited from next week, while Montenegro temporarily closed nightclubs and discotheques.
Tourism is important to the economies of both countries, especially after the bad weather last summer. While vaccination has reached about 50% of Croatia’s 4.2 million people and about 36% in Montenegro, a country of 620,000 people, officials say it is not enough.
Croatia said it would allow gatherings of only 50 people without vaccination certificates, while large events could accept up to 1,000 people if they show vaccination or test negative.
Officials said they had seen a more than a third increase in new cases since last week, mostly with the highly contagious Delta variant. Strict entry measures have been introduced for visitors from the UK, Cyprus and Russia.
“With these measures, we want countries to start introducing restrictions across Europe for people coming back from Croatia,” Interior Minister Davar Bosinovich said. “I believe that with small improvements in our lives, we can achieve great results this season.”
Montenegro said it expects nightclubs to reopen on August 2, but only for vaccinated guests or those who can prove they have recovered from COVID-19, causing the club industry to Outrage has spread.
Croatia’s stunning Adriatic Sea coast and islands are a favorite tourist destination for guests from all over Europe. Little Montenegro, located in the south of Croatia, boasts dozens of sandy beaches along the coast.