Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Bulgaria extends COVID-19-related epidemic emergency until at least Nov. 30. Significant business and travel disruptions remain.

Alert Begins 24 Sep 2020 01:27 PM UTC
Alert Expires 08 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Summary
Authorities in Bulgaria have extended the national state of epidemic emergency and constituent measures introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until at least Nov. 30. The state of emergency makes it easier for authorities to enforce temporary extensions and restrictions. Previously most nonessential businesses and services have been permitted to resume operation provided they comply with strict hygiene and social-distancing requirements. Facemasks remain mandatory in all enclosed public spaces, including public transport, and are recommended in open public spaces. Airports in the country remain open but are operating on a reduced schedule.

Bulgaria permits citizens from the EU and the Schengen Area, as well as the UK, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, and Uruguay to enter the country without restrictions. Travelers from Albania, Israel, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, and Ukraine 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 may extend or otherwise amend restrictions in the coming days in response to disease activity in the country.

Advice
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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