Bulgaria’s Health Ministry: First Moderna vaccines to arrive on January 13

The first delivery of Moderna vaccines to Bulgaria will take place on January 13 when 2400 doses arrive, the Ministry of Health said on January 9.

This supersedes a statement by Health Minister Kostadin Angelov on January 7, when he said that the first of the Moderna vaccines against Covid-19 would arrive on January 11 and amount to 2000 doses.

The Health Ministry said that arrangements had been made for the Moderna vaccines to be received by state-owned pharmaceutical company BulBio.

The ministry said that the Moderna vaccine should be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius. After being removed from a freezer, it can be kept at two to eight degrees for up to 30 days.

The European Commission granted on January 6 a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna, the second Covid-19 vaccine authorised in the EU. The Commission had granted on December 21 a CMA to the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19.

Health Minister Angelov said on January 8 Bulgaria expects to receive 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine against Covid-19, enough to vaccinate 2.5 million people in the country.

On January 7, Bulgaria’s Health Ministry published a provisional schedule of vaccine deliveries from January to July, showing that in the first seven months of 2021, a million BioNTech-Pfizer and 500 000 Moderna vaccines are to be delivered to the country.

In other news related to the Covid-19 situation:

As of January 8, Greece has introduced a seven-day, instead of the previous three-day, mandatory quarantine for those entering the country by air, land or sea.

The measure will be valid until January 21.

The requirements to submit a negative PCR test, performed up to 72 hours before entering the country, and a completed PLF form, with a generated QR code, 24 hours before the trip, as well as the mandatory testing with a rapid antigen test at border crossings, remain.

If the rapid test is positive, the person will be quarantined for 14 days.

Those entering Greece must have stated on the PLF form where they will spend the seven-day quarantine. They have the right to leave the country before the quarantine expires. The fine for non-compliance with the quarantine is 5000 euro.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that from January 11, it will be mandatory for those going to England to have a negative test for new coronavirus.

The ministry said that in the case of England, all those arriving from high-risk countries – including Bulgaria – whether by air, rail or sea, must present to the carrier before departure a document for a negative test performed no more than 72 hours beforehand. The ministry added that currently there was no official information about what kind of test – PCR or antigen.

The requirement for mandatory 10-day quarantine remains, as well as for presentation on arrival of a completed electronic form with contact details, travel plan and address where those arriving will spend the quarantine. Passengers with irregular documents will be fined up to £500.

Scotland will also require a mandatory negative test for coronavirus, and according to information published on the Scottish government’s website, the measure will take effect as soon as possible, the ministry said.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that as of January 9, the German state of Hesse requires all those arriving from risky regions, including Bulgaria, to present a negative test for new coronavirus. Those arriving may also be tested on arrival in Hesse.

The Bulgarian consulate-general in Frankfurt am Main said that the test may be PCR or antigen and should be done up to 48 hours before arrival, and the document certifying the test result may be in English, German or French.

All travelers to Germany, including the state of Hesse, are required to register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de and to present their registration electronically or on paper on arrival.

The requirement for mandatory 10-day quarantine remains, though it may be terminated in the event that a test done on the fifth day is negative.

In the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, people arriving from high-risk regions are also subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine. It may be terminated if a negative PCR test is performed within 48 hours before the trip or immediately after arrival.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on January 9 that Belgium had extended its measures requiring a mandatory PCR test and mandatory seven-day quarantine at least until February 19.

Everyone arriving in Belgium from risk countries, including Bulgaria, who are over 12 years of age, who do not have Belgian citizenship or permanent resident status, must present on arrival a certificate of a negative PCR test for coronavirus performed within no more than 72 hours before arrival.

For air passengers, checks for a negative PCR test result will be carried out when checking in and boarding flights to Belgium as a final destination.

The submission of a negative PCR test result is mandatory, regardless of the time spent in Belgium or the vehicle (aircraft, train, ship, car).

Only negative PCR test results are recognised; the results of rapid tests for antigen or antibodies are not recognised.

The document for the results of the PCR test must always be available for verification on paper or electronic media, drawn up in Dutch, French, German or English. The date of sampling must be clearly indicated: the document is valid for 72 hours from that date.

For arrivals who have Belgian identity documents and a permanent or long-term residence permit in Belgium, a preliminary PCR test is not required, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said.

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

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