Life is returning to normal in Zadar (Marko Dimic/PIXSELL) Life is returning to normal in Zadar (Marko Dimic/PIXSELL)

The national coronavirus taskforce has announced it is lifting the ban on Sunday trading. The head of the Croatian Public Health Bureau, Krunoslav Capak, said the country's epidemiological situation was very good. He underscored the importance of being able to trace all new cases, all of which have been individuals who were infected outside of the country.

"Since we have had only one new case in the past four days - an exceptional epidemiological situation - we will continue to ease restrictions. One of those measures that we are going to lift starting next weekend is the ban on Sunday shopping," Capak said.

 This means that shops that were operating on Sundays before the pandemic will be able to do so again starting on May 31.

The task force's decision to ban Sunday trading during the pandemic was applauded by conservative and religious groups but criticized by progressives, who described it as a means of appeasing conservative voters before the election.

Unions representing retail workers oppose Sunday trading, arguing workers need a day off to spend with their families.

Business owners are split on the issue. Larger retailers, especially ones that operate in shopping malls, are reluctant to lose the sales Sunday's generate, Sunday being the second busiest day at malls after Saturday.

The HDZ has a plan that would allow shops to remain open on only 14 Sundays during the year and require businesses to pay workers extra wages on Sundays. The issue is likely to be a prominent one in the upcoming elections.