Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry issued a call on March 13 for the country’s citizens not to travel abroad unless absolutely necessary.
The call came as the National Assembly unanimously agreed to a government proposal for a month-long State of Emergency to respond to new coronavirus.
Separately, Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told a briefing on March 13 that there were no immediate plans to close the country’s borders.
The Foreign Ministry raised the level of risk of travel to 12 countries.
It raised the level of risk for Iran to the highest, level five, meaning that no one should go there and any Bulgarian there should leave the country immediately.
For South Korea and Spain, it raised the risk to level four, a warning to suspend travel throughout the country.
For Spain, the risk is raised to level four.
For France, to level three – a recommendation not to travel to certain areas of the country except if absolutely necessary: Grand Est, Ile-de-France, Au-France, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Burgundy-Franche-Comté, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur coast, Corsica.
For Germany, also level three- a recommendation not to travel to certain areas of the country except if absolutely necessary: Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Japan, level three a recommendation not to travel to certain areas of the country except if absolutely necessary – Hokkaido, Aichi, Osaka, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Hogo, Chiba prefectures.
For six countries, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry raised the risk level to two, an advisory to check the current situation in the respective country: the United States, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands.
The Foreign Ministry maintained the risk level of China at five and of Italy at four.
“In view of the advice of the National Operational Headquarters for the maximum prevention of the spread of coronavirus in Bulgaria, the need to exercise personal discipline and limit social contacts, we urge Bulgarian citizens to refrain from traveling abroad even in countries where there is currently a low prevalence of the disease, except in cases of urgent need.
“We also call on our compatriots abroad to show high self-awareness and care for loved ones by rethinking a possible return to Bulgaria on various occasions, including personal or upcoming Easter holidays,” the Foreign Ministry said.