Coronavirus: Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry warns on increasing complications on entering or leaving country

In a statement on March 15, Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeated its call for citizens not to travel from or to Bulgaria and to cancel trips already planned.

The call was issued as Bulgaria’s national crisis staff said on the morning of March 15 that there were 43 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that as of 9am on March 15, there were a total of 39 768 confirmed cases in the EU/EEA and the UK.

“The situation at the land borders of European countries is constantly and drastically changing, which makes it impossible to travel to or from Bulgaria with all modes of transport,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“With regard to the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus, there is almost no country in Europe that has not at the moment introduced restrictive measures – border closures or separate border crossing points, enhanced border controls, shutdown of flights, closure of airports.”

The Foreign Ministry said that Austria’s border with Italy has been closed and a total ban on entry of passengers from Italy has been introduced. “According to our embassy in Vienna, there are no officially closed border crossings at the border with Hungary, but people have been returned from the border without reasons being given.”

Hungary had no officially completed closed borders, but people should follow information on the website

There were kilometres of queues at the Slovenian-Hungarian border.

The Republic of North Macedonia has closed all but five of its land border checkpoints. Two border checkpoints with Bulgaria are closed – the Zlatarevo-Novo Selo checkpoint in Petrich district and the Logodash (Stanke Lisichkovo – Delchevo) checkpoint in the Blagoevgrad district. Still open is the Gyueshevo/Deve Bair checkpoint between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. The Sveti Apostol Pavel airport in Ohrid is closed.

On March 15, Albania has closed all land border entry points. The step does not affect the transport of goods.

Romania has closed, until April 14, border checkpoints with five countries: Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. The Romanian-Bulgarian border checkpoints that are closed are Cherna Voda – Kardam, Dobromir – Krushari, Lipnitsa – Kaynardja, Svishtov – Zimincha, Turnu Mugurele – Nikolov and Beket – Oryahovo.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that on the morning of March 5, it had reassessed and adjusted the risk levels of a number of countries.

Current levels of risk are:

Level 5 – China, Iran. Level 5 means that no one should go there and any Bulgarian there should leave the country immediately.

Level 4 – Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Spain, Italy, North Korea, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom. Level 4 means a warning to suspend travel throughout the country.

Level 3 – Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, France, Japan, Germany. Level 3 is a recommendation not to travel to certain areas of the country except if absolutely necessary .



The Sofia Globe staff

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