The Government of the Republic of Croatia declared today, on May 11, 2023, the end of the epidemic of COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout Croatia. The decision was made based on Article 2, paragraph 5, of the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases. With this Decision on the cessation of the COVID-19 epidemic in Croatia, the previous Decision declaring the epidemic, made on March 11, 2020, ceases to be valid. The new decision comes into effect on the first day of its publication in the "Narodne novine" official gazette.
In March 2020, Croatia declared an epidemic of COVID-19 disease due to the public health risk of high mortality from a new unknown infectious disease. The declaration of the epidemic enabled the implementation of necessary measures to protect public health.
On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization announced that it no longer considers COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern. According to the assessment of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, it has been realized during the pandemic that COVID-19 will permanently be present in the population, with varying intensity, which necessitates long-term monitoring and further discovery of long-term consequences of the disease. The declaration of the end of the COVID-19 epidemic in Croatia is based on the knowledge acquired to date about the virus, its virulence, and the consequences of the disease, as well as the possibilities of population protection, rendering the need for measures prescribed during an epidemic unnecessary.
Therefore, considering the existing measures to reduce the risk of the disease, such as vaccination, the Government of the Republic of Croatia has made the decision to declare the end of the epidemic. Despite the declaration of the end of the epidemic, it is important to continue monitoring epidemiological data and implementing recommended actions to reduce the risk of the disease. Additionally, the continuation of vaccination and providing support to those suffering from long-term consequences of COVID-19 will remain a priority for some time.