(Photo: HRT) (Photo: HRT)

The decision, brought by the Civil Protection Directorate, means that restaurants and cafes in Croatia will remain closed for the next three weeks.

Some of the restrictions refer to shortened work hours, restrictions for passengers in public transportation, and no more than 25 people are allowed to gather for public events.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović said there were no grounds to relax the epidemiological measures.

The minister said that despite the downward trend in new coronavirus numbers, the number of hospitalisations was still high and that cold winter conditions were conducive to the spread of the novel virus.

The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, said that Croatia's incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days stood at 351.8, which put the country in the middle of the EU rankings.

Capak said the rate had to be below 300 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in order to consider a relaxation of restrictive measures.

Meanwhile, less than two weeks ago, on December 27, Croatia's 14-day incidence rate was nearly three-times higher, with 974 new cases per 100,000 people.

According to the Civil Protection Directorate, Croatia registered 1,098 new coronavirus infections from nearly 7,000 tests performed over the last 24 hours, for a positivity rate of 16.2 %.

There are currently 2,251 people receiving treatment in hospital; 194 of whom are on ventilators. The number of active cases stands at 5,794.

Source: HRT