Coronavirus: Bulgaria bans entry of travellers from 16 countries

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev has announced a temporary ban on entry into Bulgaria of persons from 16 countries because of the spread of Covid-19, the Health Ministry said.

The temporary ban applies to travellers arriving from China, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Spain, Italy, South Korea, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The ban comes into force at midnight on March 18.

Bulgarian citizens, members of their families, as well as people with permanent and long-term residence status in Bulgaria and their families are excluded from the ban.

Bulgaria’s crisis staff against coronavirus is proposing to the Prime Minister to rule that outdoor gatherings of adults be limited to two people in the case of queues outside major food chains, pharmacies, banks, drug stores, insurance institutions and government agencies.

This was announced at a morning briefing on March 17 by crisis staff chief Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski.

The briefing was told that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria is now 67, five more than the figure announced at the evening briefing on March 16.

The crisis staff also is proposing various options to the government regarding drivers of international lorries. The options take into account whether the driver shows signs of illness.

A Bulgarian driver arriving and who is not set to leave again soon should go into home quarantine. A driver arriving who is due to leave again within 12 to 24 hours should be kept in absolute isolation by his company. A foreign driver should be kept in isolation and must leave Bulgaria in no more than 12 hours.

Separately, Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry said that military personnel due to leave for deployment to the Nato Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan were being kept in quarantine at a military recreation base in Ribaritsa as a precautionary measure.

The transport of the service personnel would be carried out only after the vehicles to be used had been disinfected. A medical team is monitoring the personnel throughout the quarantine period. Each of the personnel would undergo medical screening before deployment to Afghanistan, the Defence Ministry said.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

Useful links for factual information:

The European Commission’s page on coronavirus response.

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe’s page on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s page with updates and factfiles on new coronavirus.

(Photo: Margarita kiril86, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.