Migrant crisis: Bulgaria issues travel advisory on Germany, Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry has issued the latest in a series of travel advisories because of the migrant crisis in Europe, this time cautioning those travelling in Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia.
The September 18 travel advisory followed one a day earlier on Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary.
The Foreign Ministry said that as of September 13, Germany had temporarily restored border controls at its frontier with Austria. There were checks on motorways, main and secondary roads and German federal police were checking trains. Vehicles examined were mainly those in which it would be possible to transport migrants.
The ministry said that there were traffic jams and long queues on Germany’s Zuben (A 3 Linz-Passau), Valserberg (A 8 Salzburg-Munich), and Kifersfelden (A 93 Kufstein-Rosenheim) routes.
The Federal State of Saxony was to introduce controls on the A17 highway near the border with the Czech Republic.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said that the country’s embassy in The Hague had reported Dutch television as saying as of September 16, mobile groups of Dutch police were checking cars, vans and lorries. The purpose of inspections is to prevent human trafficking. There were no reports of clusters of vehicles and people on the roads, or of problems in rail transport.
The ministry said that in Croatia, the central checkpoint of Bayakovo (at the Serbian-Croatian border) and Matzel (at the Croatian-Slovenian border) were functioning normally.
In the coming days, queues of vehicles were expected because of stepped-up border controls.
The ministry listed several border checkpoints between Croatia and Serbia that were closed. The Tovarnik railway station checkpoint was also closed.
The ministry said that Bulgarian citizens travelling in Croatia should keep to the A3 central highway and pass through the Bayakovo and Matzel checkpoints, and avoid trying to cross the border anywhere else.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that the embassy in Ljubljana had reported that Slovenia had temporarily reintroduced border controls at the internal land border with Hungary, as of September 17.
The checks were introduced for an initial period of 10 days and could be extended, depending on the security situation and in particular, the number of migrants coming from Hungary.
Bulgaria said that the traffic situation in the Republic of Macedonia was normal and worsening of the situation in the coming days was not expected. All of Macedonia’s border crossings with neighbouring countries, including with Bulgaria, were operating normally.
The ministry added that given the large flow of migrants north-south, to the borders with Greece and Serbia, the use of rail transport and public transport buses along these routes was not recommended. A continuing rail strike in the country was making travelling along other routes difficult.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that, overall, it was advisable to avoid entry into Greece and Serbia via the Bogoroditsa and Tabanovtse border checkpoints, respectively.
The Macedonian interior ministry had advised that roadside checks had been stepped up because of a recent increase in traffic accidents.