ZAGREB -- After Friday's record-breaking numbers of people infected, the authorities of Croatia will restrict gatherings and increase the use of COVID-19 cards to reduce the spread of the disease.
After a meeting, the country's crisis team stated that new rules for gatherings would apply from Saturday. However, COVID passes will require more preparation.
Croatia, like much of Central and Eastern Europe has seen an increase in infections and hospitalizations over the past week due to low vaccination rates.
The vaccination rates in most countries of the region are lower than the European Union average, which is about 75%.
Some Croats, alarmed by the outbreak of the virus, lined up on Thursday night to get vaccinated at the Zagreb vaccination station.
Drago Coric stated that he was skeptical about vaccines, but changed his mind after daily cases rose to several thousand.
After confirming 6,300 infections the day before, nearly 7,000 infections were reported in Croatia on Friday.
He said, "There are many (people) today who have been infected." Coric said he was only getting his first shot for safety reasons.
He said, "I don’t want to be restricted by movement and measures that will appear,"
Croatia's Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic stated that gatherings up to 50 people would be prohibited indoors starting Saturday. They must also end by midnight.
Bozinovic stated that COVID passes for all employees will be available in all state institutions, as well as the education system, starting mid-November.
Croatia introduced passes to health and social services systems in the past. They required proof of vaccination, a certificate proving that someone had had COVID-19, or a negative test.
Bozinovic stated that the use of the drug could be extended depending on the circumstances.
Bozinovic stated, "We will monitor it." "Those who haven't vaccinated yet have plenty of time."
Many governments in the region are reluctant to return to lockdowns after the increase in infections. Instead, they seek to improve vaccination.
A government meeting in Slovenia will be held Friday night to discuss the best measures. This is in response to reports that ministers are divided on the matter.
In the last weeks, Slovenia has experienced record numbers. This has forced hospitals to stop any non-urgent intervention. A small EU state with 2 million inhabitants reported an additional 3,770 cases Friday.