Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Bulgaria eases COVID-19-related entry restrictions for Belarus, Serbia, and Turkey, on Sept. 1. Epidemic emergency extended until Sept. 30.

Alert Begins 01 Sep 2020 09:31 PM UTC
Alert Expires 22 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Beginning Sept. 1, Bulgarian authorities are easing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related entry restrictions for citizens and residents of Belarus, Serbia, and Turkey. Travelers from these countries may enter Bulgaria without restrictions; travelers will not have to self-isolate or show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Bulgaria permits citizens from the EU and the Schengen Area, as well as the UK, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, Ukraine, and Uruguay to enter the country without restrictions. Travelers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, are allowed entry, provided they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival. Additionally, all medical professionals, transport staff, foreign officials, seasonal workers, and persons traveling for humanitarian reasons will be permitted entry regardless of citizenship as long as they possess negative COVID-19 PCR test results.

Authorities previously extended the nation's COVID-19 epidemic emergency until at least Sept. 30. The move comes out of an abundance of caution despite a decrease in infection rates. The state of emergency makes it easier for authorities to enforce temporary extensions and restrictions

Authorities have allowed most nonessential businesses to resume operations provided they comply with hygiene and social distancing mandates. Protective face coverings are mandatory in all indoor public spaces, while outdoors in public places, and when using public transportation. Airports in the country remain open but are operating on a severely reduced schedule.

Authorities may extend or otherwise amend restrictions in the coming days in response to disease activity in the country.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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