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As of June 1, passengers arriving in Bulgaria from most European countries – but not those with the largest outbreaks of new coronavirus – will no longer be required to go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
This is according to an order issued by Health Minister Kiril Ananiev late on Friday night.
Ananiev’s order says that those who will be allowed to enter Bulgaria include Bulgarian nationals, nationals of EU member states, the United Kingdom, Schengen visa zone member countries (including the Republic of San Marino, the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco and the Vatican City State), the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia, members of the families of Bulgarian citizens, as well as persons who are in actual cohabitation with a Bulgarian citizen, and foreigners with the status of permanent or long-term residence in Bulgaria and members of their families.
Eight other categories of people are also allowed to enter Bulgaria.
Medical professionals, medical researchers, social workers, and their supervisors where the purpose of the journey is related to the profession they are pursuing.
Workers involved in the supply of medicinal products, medical devices and personal protective equipment, medical equipment, including its installation and maintenance.
Transport staff engaged in the international carriage of passengers and cargo, crews of commercial aircraft and other transport staff as required, including vessel crews and persons involved in the maintenance of vessels.
Foreign officials (heads of state, members of governments, etc.) and members of their delegations, as well as diplomats, officials of international organisations, military personnel, members of the security and public order services and humanitarian workers in the performance of their duties.
People traveling for humanitarian reasons.
Representatives of trade, economic and investment activities and people directly involved in the construction, maintenance, operation and ensuring the safety of the strategic and critical infrastructure of Bulgaria, implementation of projects certified under the Investment Promotion Act, analysis of projects of potential investors and other activities of importance for the economy of the country, certified by a letter from the Minister of Economy or another minister responsible for the respective activity, as well as people engaged in shipbuilding and ship repair.
Seasonal agricultural and tourism workers.
Ananiev’s order also sets out who may transit through Bulgaria.
This includes nationals of EU countries, the UK and Schengen member countries (including the Republic of San Marino, the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco and the Vatican City State) and their family members in order to return in the country where they reside.
It also includes third-country (meaning, non-EU) nationals who have a long-term residence permit in another EU country, the UK, or in a Schengen country (including the Republic of San Marino, the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco and the Vatican City State) and members of their families in order to return to the country of residence.
Also allowed to transit are citizens of the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey in order to return to the country of which they are nationals.
Transit is allowed only in cases where immediate departure from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria can be guaranteed.
Those subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine on entry to Bulgaria are everyone coming from the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Italy and all non-EU countries except Serbia and North Macedonia.
The quarantine rule does not apply if those arriving are Bulgarian citizens and citizens of other EU countries, the UK, Schengen countries, who are travelling for humanitarian reasons, or are trade representatives, or are involved in activities crucial to the strategic and critical infrastructure of Bulgaria, implementation of projects certified under the Investment Promotion Act, analysis of projects of potential investors and other activities of importance for the country’s economy, certified by a letter from the Minister of Economy or another minister responsible for the relevant activity, as well as persons engaged in shipbuilding and ship repair.
It also does not apply to bus drivers engaged in the international carriage of passengers and lorry drivers involved in international carriage of goods, as well as members of crews of vessels who are Bulgarian citizens.
Separately, on May 30, Ananiev issued an order lifting the ban on the holding of congresses and conferences, seminars, exhibitions, provided that no more than 30 per cent of the seating may be occupied and other anti-epidemic measures are kept to.
On May 30, the national operational headquarters against Covid-19 said that of 1353 samples tested in the past 24 hours, 14 had proved positive.
This brings the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria to 2499, counting in the 1064 people who have recovered and the 139 people who have died.