News regarding COVID certificates

The changes concern the rules for issuing COVID certificates confirming testing and vaccination, as well as their validity

As of 1 February, new rules for issuing EU Digital COVID Certificates, which are in line with the EU Regulation and the Council Recommendation, are in force in Croatia. The new rules specify the differences regarding the application of COVID certificates in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and at border crossings.

Test certificates based on a PCR test are still valid for 72 hours from the time the sample is taken. As regards rapid antigen tests, COVID certificates based on such tests are valid for crossing the border 24 hours from the time the sample is taken. However, if used within the Republic of Croatia, the certificates are valid for 48 hours.

The certificate of primary vaccination is issued if no more than 270 days have passed since the last dose in the series. They can be issued to persons who have been vaccinated with vaccines given in one or two doses, as well as to those who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been vaccinated with a vaccine given in a single dose or vaccinated with one dose of a vaccine given in two doses.

Since 1 February, it is no longer possible to request a certificate of primary vaccination older than 270 days. Certificates previously issued will remain valid in the Republic of Croatia for 365 days, but will not be valid for crossing the border. These certificates can be requested from the day of vaccination with the last prescribed dose, but they are only valid for crossing the border on the 14th day after the last prescribed dose of vaccine.

In order to obtain a booster vaccination certificate, it is necessary that no more than 365 days have passed since the last dose in the series. It is issued after the primary vaccination for any additional vaccinations. It is important to note that the recovery is not recognised as a booster dose in the system of EU Digital COVID Certificates, regardless of whether the recovery happened before or after vaccination.

Certificates issued based on receiving the first of two vaccine doses are now only valid for use within the Republic of Croatia, and since 1 February, it is therefore not possible to cross the border with a certificate based on the first dose.
EU Digital COVID Certificates are issued by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia. Requests for EU Digital COVID Certificates can be submitted online, via the e-Citizens portal,  or in person at the local offices of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO), as well as at pharmacies and authorized laboratories that perform testing.

Regardless of its format (digital or paper), the certificate will feature a QR code containing basic personal information and a digital stamp to guarantee the authenticity of the certificate.