Shorter queues at Bulgaria-Greece border, weekend traffic spike expected

Traffic congestion at the Kulata-Promachonas checkpoint on the Greek-Bulgarian border eased on July 3, Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) reported, but longer queues were possible later in the day and at the weekend, due to the expected increase in traffic.

A queue several kilometres long had formed at the border crossing in the morning hours, but it was shorter than the previous day and had all but disappeared by the early afternoon, BNR said.

The report estimated average border crossing time at about an hour and a half and said that traffic police had been deployed to ease the traffic flow on the Bulgarian side.

The increased congestion was partially due to Greece closing its checkpoints on the border with North Macedonia, which made Kulata-Promachonas the main point of entry into Greece for holidaymakers from Serbia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania.

BNR reported that more than half of the cars waiting to cross the border had Serbian licence plates. It said that arrivals from Serbia faced closer scrutiny and most were asked to undergo a coronavirus test on the spot.

Kulata-Promachonas was designated as the only point of entry into Greece at the border with Bulgaria, according to an announcement on July 1. However, Bulgarian National Television quoted Greek authorities as saying that the Makaza-Komotini checkpoint, further east alongside the Bulgarian-Greek border, would remain open to traffic until July 6.

Greece has started re-opening to international tourists in order to help its tourism industry, but put in place a protocol that requires all foreign arrivals to complete mandatory passenger location forms starting July 1.

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

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