Bulgaria will require almost all travelers from the European Union to have a negative PCR coronavirus test prior to entry along with a valid Covid certificate, starting on Friday, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The measure is aimed at limiting the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the ministry said.
The country recorded its first 12 Omicron cases since the New Year. On Wednesday it reported a sharp rise in new infections to over 6,200 from about 1,900 a day earlier.
Under the updated rules, travelers from the EU countries that on Bulgaria’s red zone list, need to produce a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival. The rule also applies to travelers from the United Kingdom.
On Bulgaria’s red zone list are countries that have reported over 500 coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days or have reported a spread of coronavirus variant that raises concerns.
Beginning on Friday, Bulgaria will add the United States, Canada and Australia to its red zone list, effectively banning arrivals of foreigners from these countries.
Greece is on the list. Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg and Romania are the only EU member states that are not on Bulgaria’s red zone list at present.
Earlier, Bulgaria’s foreign minister, Teodora Genchovska, 50, tested positive from a PCR test for Covid-19 and will remain under medical supervision, the ministry’s press office said. She is fully vaccinated. [Reuters, AP]