Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic on Wednesday announced new restrictions for shops and shopping centres, whereby they will have to ensure 10 to 20 square metres of space per customer, depending on the size of the net sales area, and the restrictions will enter into force on Saturday.
The government has already prepared the decision on the special organisation of trade activities, which should be in place from 12 December to 10 January 2021, and it should be signed during the day, Bozinovic said at a meeting of the national COVID-19 crisis management team.
Under the new decision, as of Saturday, 12 December, shops with a net sales area of less than 10 square metres will be able to admit only one customer at a time. Shops that have a net sales area of 11 to 100 square metres will have to ensure at least 10 square metres of space per customer.
Shops with a net sales area of 101 to 200 square metres will have to provide at least 12 square metres of space per customer, those with a net sales area of 201 to 2,000 square metres will have to provide at least 16 square metres, and all shops with a net sales area of more than 2,000 square metres will have to ensure at least 20 square metres of space per customer.
In shopping centres, the maximum number of customers will be determined by ensuring at least 16 square metres of space per customer, and all shops and shopping centres will be required to display a notice with the maximum number of customers that can be inside at the same time at the entrance.
Bozinovic announced that additional epidemiological measures would be introduced for shops with a net sales area of more than 2,000 square metres and shopping centres.
Bozinovic stressed that the decision was made in dialogue with shops’ representatives and that he was counting on their motivation to comply with the measures so there would be no fines.
He said that despite the new decision on necessary epidemiological measures the government was planning for shops to operate normally until 10 January, but that “no one in this situation can say whether there will be a sudden deterioration or improvement”.
Asked by reporters whether the possibility of closing theatres and cinemas was being considered, Bozinovic said that the government had decided to leave cultural events open for now.
“That is definitely one of the issues we are going to consider,” he said.