Croatia makes face masks compulsory in public indoor spaces

People wearing face masks are seen exiting the Dubrava hospital in Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia said on Saturday that wearing face masks will be obligatory in most closed public spaces from next week as the number of COVID-19 cases keeps rising.

The number of new infections reached 140 on Saturday, the highest recorded so far in a single day. Most cases are in the capital Zagreb and in east of the country.

The national civil protection directorate said that from Monday face masks will be obligatory for both employees and clients in shops, and also for employees in bars, restaurants and other places where there is close contact with customers.

The use of face masks on public transport was made compulsory several weeks ago.

During the spring months Croatia successfully limited the spread of the disease and by early June the number of new cases had fallen to just a few daily or even none. However, the number of new cases has soared in recent weeks, with many blaming the spread on gatherings such as weddings.

Around 500,000 tourists from central European countries and Germany are currently holidaying on the Adriatic coast, but there have been very few cases of the virus among them.

So far Croatia has registered 3,672 cases of COVID-19 and 118 deaths. At the moment there are 1,088 active cases.

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