Covid-19: Bulgaria’s Parliament extends validity of expiring ID documents

Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved on November 6 the second reading of amendments to the State of Emergency Act to extend the validity of expiring identity documents.

Driving licences, IDs and passports expiring before January 21 2021 will remain valid for a period of six months past their expiration date.

Previously, the law gave a six-month extension to identity documents expiring between March 13 and October 31 2020. The provision that holders can seek to renew their identity documents before the six-month extension is up remains in place.

The change will affect about 400 000 Bulgarian nationals, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television reported, citing Interior Ministry data. The same extension also applies to foreigners with Bulgarian identity documents.

An additional provision was created by the amendments, allowing foreigners from the EU and European Economic Area member states, Switzerland and the UK who have entered Bulgaria legally to exit the country using expired identity documents from their country of origin.

This can be done if they do so within the period of extended validity decided by their country of origin, provided that their transit to the country of origin is secured and if their country of origin has reciprocal arrangements for Bulgarian nationals.

In other news on November 6 related to the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria:

Additional measures have come into force in the Rousse district to counter the spread of Covid-19. The measures will be in effect until November 19.

Casinos, gambling halls, restaurants and other places of entertainment must close by 11.30pm.

Under-18s may not visit such establishments, as well as malls and shopping centres, if unaccompanied.

From 9am to 11am, only people of “visible age” over 60 may enter grocery shops and pharmacies.

The Rousse district extended until November 19 measures it previously adopted, including a ban on discos, piano bars, night clubs and similar places of entertainment. All types of large-scale outdoor events remain banned.

Kurdzhali district has ordered that, up to November 13, no more than 30 people may be present at an organised celebration, and no more than 10 at a civil wedding hall. Restaurants in the district must close at midnight.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that as of November 6, Norway requires those arriving from Bulgaria to show a negative test for new coronavirus.

The PCR test must have been done no more than 72 hours before arrival and the certificate must be either in English or Norwegian.

People entering Norway from a country included in the red risk index, which includes Bulgaria, and who do not have a permanent residential address in Norway must have hotel accommodation booked for the quarantine period.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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