Bulgaria queries UK over exclusion from quarantine exemption

Acting on the orders of Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, Bulgaria’s embassy in London has sent a note to the UK government asking why Bulgaria has been excluded from the list of countries for which quarantine requirements for arrivals in Britain are being lifted as of July 10.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that Zaharieva also spoke with the Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton, asking for the reasons for the decision.

The Foreign Ministry said that the embassy in London was seeking clarification about the criteria on which the UK decision is based, as other countries included in the list have a higher incidence than Bulgaria.

The embassy emphasised that Bulgaria is among those with the lowest levels of new coronavirus.

“Timely and effective measures against the spread of the virus in Bulgaria have led to only 2281 active cases,” the embassy said in the July 3 note.

The Black Sea coast is virtually free of Covid-19, and has already attracted thousands of tourists from more than 35 countries this summer, the note said.

Speaking to Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgaria’s ambassador in London Marin Raykov called Bulgaria’s absence from the list an “anomaly”.

Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the published list of countries exempt from quarantine rules, said: “Labour – like families and businesses up and down the country – are keen for the government’s quarantine measures to be lessened, but this a mess.

“First we had the quarantine that they were slow to implement, then they said they’d do air bridges. Now we see a plan to let residents of 60 or more countries into England without any reciprocal arrangements.

“The fact they have been unable to negotiate air bridges is an indictment of their failure to tackle the crisis at home. They were too slow to take lockdown, too slow to order PPE and too slow to protect our country,” McMahon said.

(Photo via the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry website)

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

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