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Bulgaria to end quarantine on travel from most of EU

Reuters | Sofia | Updated: 29-05-2020 15:35 IST | Created: 29-05-2020 13:37 IST
Bulgaria to end quarantine on travel from most of EU
Representative Image Image Credit: maxpixel

Bulgaria plans to lift an obligatory 14-day quarantine from June 1 for travelers from most European Union countries, but not those states with the biggest coronavirus outbreaks, a senior health official said on Friday. The quarantine will remain obligatory for travelers from Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Malta, the official said, as well as the UK, which is in a transition period after leaving the EU.

Angel Kunchev, the country's chief health inspector, said the anti-virus taskforce had proposed to the government to lift the quarantine as of June 1. The health minister still needs to approve the plan. A ban on the entry of visitors from outside the EU will remain in place.

Bulgaria has eased most of the restrictive measures it imposed in March to combat the spread of the coronavirus, allowing restaurants, cafes, gyms, and theatres to reopen and lifting a ban on travel between cities. Last week it scrapped a ban on the entry of citizens from other EU countries but imposed a 14-day quarantine. By allowing visitors from other EU countries it aims to restore trade and boost summer tourism to its Black Sea resorts, hard hit by the lockdown.

"We plan to lift the obligatory quarantine for Bulgarians returning from abroad and for travelers from the European Union countries and Serbia and North Macedonia," Kunchev told reporters. "We will keep it for the eight EU countries that have the biggest registered cases in the past two weeks," he said.

The Balkan country of 7 million people registered eight new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total registered cases to 2,475, including 136 deaths - a much lower rate than many other EU countries. Kunchev said 1,016 people have recovered from the virus.


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