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Bulgaria closes its borders to non-EU citizens

In relation with the preventive measures against the spread of the new coronavirus Bulgaria’s authorities temporarily banned non-EU citizens to enter this country through any border crossing by air, sea and land as of 00.00 on March 20 until April 17, 2020.

According to data of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the situation at the land borders of the European countries is changing constantly and drastically which makes travel to or from Bulgaria with any type of transport impossible. According to latest information of Bulgaria’s diplomatic representatives, almost all European countries have already introduced restrictive measures-border closure or closure of certain border crossings, enhanced border control, suspended flights and closure of airports.

By decision ofthe National Operational Headquarters to coordinate measures for prevention and combatting coronavirus the Bulgarian authorities issued an entry ban to some persons arriving from some EU members states and Schengen members such as Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The citizens of these EU member states and Schengen states and their family members are only allowed to cross Bulgaria in transit to return to their home country or country of residence. Citizens of third countries with long-term permits in an EU country are also allowed to cross Bulgaria in transit to return to their home countries or countries of residence.

The entry ban shall not affect citizens of other EU member states and Schengen countries. Bulgarians and their family members and persons with a permanent residence status or status of long-term residence on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria are allowed to enter Bulgaria. However, the citizens returning from high-risk countries such as China, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Spain, Italy, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland, will be placed under a fourteen-day quarantine in their home or a place where they are going to stay.

The current ban does not concern health specialists, health researchers, and senior care professionals. The restrictions do not cover the staff engaged in cargo transport, aircraft crews performing commercial air transport, as well as other staff that may be needed to perform cargo transport. Diplomats, employees of international organizations, military staff and humanitarian workers performing their duties or persons travelling for humanitarian reasons are also not subject to restrictive measures.

You can find more details about the topical information on the web site of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs  and in english.

Bulgarians seeking assistance can contact the Situation Center of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the following phone numbers: +359 2 948 24 04; + 359 2 971 38 56; 02 948 3052; 02 948 2552; 02 948 2085 or by email: crisis@mfa.bg.

You can find more important information related to COVID-19 in Bulgaria HERE.

Written by: Darina Grigorova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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