Foreign Minister: Coronavirus situation stable, Bulgaria one of safest tourist destinations

The situation in Bulgaria in connection with the spread of the coronavirus is stable and the country is currently one of the safest tourist destinations, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said at a June 11 video conference of foreign ministers and diplomats from 13 EU countries on restoring safe free movement in Europe.

Zaharieva said that Bulgaria had adopted strict rules to ensure the safety of the tourism sector, which accounts for close to 13 per cent of the Bulgarian economy and about 11 per cent of employment in the country.

She said that as of June 1, tourists from 28 countries that are members of the EU and the Schengen area, who are not subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and from a further eight, who are required to go into quarantine, are welcome in Bulgaria.

The lifting of travel restrictions in the EU must be coordinated and in accordance with the European Commission’s Tourism and Transport Package, Zaharieva said.

A Bulgarian Foreign Ministry statement said that the participants in the meeting discussed the gradual lifting of restrictive measures in the respective countries and agreed that tourism activities would require a responsible approach, which includes close coordination among the European partners.

The safety and health of citizens during the summer season must be guaranteed.

Restoring freedom of movement in the EU must take into account the situation with Covid-19 in each country and must not prejudice efforts to tackle the pandemic.

The preconditions for the abolition of official travel warnings are low level of infections in the countries of origin and destination, as well as specific measures taken in the field of infection control and health, especially in tourism and travel based on the EC recommendations on tourism and transport made on May 13.

The meeting was initiated by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. It was also attended by the foreign ministers of Austria, Cyprus, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, as well as the deputy foreign ministers of France and Portugal.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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