US & Several Other Third Countries Removed From Bulgaria’s Red List

The Bulgarian Ministry of Health has published its latest epidemiological-related risk assessment list, according to which entry rules will be tightened for travellers from several EU and third countries since the same were added to the red category.

According to a press release issued by the Bulgarian Health Ministry, the decision for tightening entry rules for Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Singapore, Barbados, Antigua, and Barbuda arrivals enters force today, October 13.

The decision obliges travellers from these countries to present the result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours before entering Bulgaria and quarantine for ten days upon arrival. However, they can ditch self-isolation by taking a PCR test on the first day of their stay in Bulgaria, reports.

Countries in Bulgaria’s red zone include the following:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Lithuania
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Zambia

On the other hand, United States of America, Ireland, Israel, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Eswatini, Iran, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan and Malaysia arrivals no longer have to quarantine upon arrival as these countries have been removed from the red category and were added to orange. Norway and Austria have also been added to the orange category, arrivals from which have to follow similar entry rules as green zone countries arrivals do.

Moreover, several EU Member states such as Denmark, Italy, Spain, Malta, Sweden, France, Monaco, Portugal, Cyprus and Iceland, have been added to the green category, meaning that travellers from there will be subject to less stringent entry rules compared to the red category.

So, entry rules for green and orange countries include a COVID test taken either 72 hours before entering the country or right after the arrival.

However, these rules do not apply to travellers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID, recovered from the virus or are holders of the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate.

At present, Bulgaria’s green zone also consists of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Vatican City, Czechia and Luxembourg.

In conclusion, this risk assessment shows a positive outcome compared to the last one, as it shows that entry rules have been facilitated for the majority of the EU member states. This means that more travel-friendly guidelines are being applied, and there are hopes for travelling to resume to pre-pandemic levels.

As per Bulgaria’s epidemiological situation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that 524,333 positive cases have been registered, with 3,471 reported only in the last 24 hours.

As of October 13, Bulgaria’s vaccination rates remain relatively low as only 24.6 per cent of its population has received the first shot of the COVID vaccine, whereas 23.5 per cent have been fully vaccinated, which is far below the 74.5 per cent average vaccination rate for the adult population in the EU/EEA countries.

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