Covid-19: New rules for arrivals from Bulgaria in England and Scotland

People travelling to England and Scotland will be required to present a negative PCR test result for coronavirus, under new restrictions that will go into effect in Britain at 4am GMT on January 18, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on January 15.

The test will have to be done no more than 72 hours prior to entering England or Scotland, the ministry statement said.

Even with a negative PCR test result, travellers will be required to self-isolate 10 days on arrival. This requirement does not apply to arrivals from a country on Britain’s “travel corridors” list, which does not currently include Bulgaria.

Travellers will also be required to submit on arrival a form with contact information, their travel itinerary and the address where they plan to self-isolate, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.

The PCR test requirement will apply to all arrivals, regardless of the route they take. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to 500 pounds sterling and denial of entry, the ministry said.

In other news related to the Covid-19 situation:

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kostadin Angelov issued on January 15 the order easing some of the restrictions on schools and universities, which will be allowed to hold some classroom activities starting January 18.

The list includes several types of exams, including end-of-semester and diploma exams in universities, as well as practical lessons for school pupils and students.

All such activities have to be carried out in strict compliance with anti-epidemic measures, including social distancing of at least 1.5m and the mandatory wearing of masks. People with acute respiratory symptoms should not be allowed to take part in such activities, the order said.

The order also allows hospitals and oncology centres to resume planned admissions and surgeries.

Bulgaria will receive more than 12 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19, national operational headquarters chief Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski told Bulgarian National Television on January 15.

Mutafchiyski forecast that about 100 000 people in Bulgaria will be immunised by April against Covid-19.

He added that there was “one ‘but'” and that was that this depended on the AstraZeneca vaccine being approved by the European Commission.

An expert committee of the European Medicines Agency is scheduled to meet on January 29 on the application by AstraZeneca for a conditional marketing authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine.

The first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines to Bulgaria should be 250 000 doses, Mutafchiyski said. There would be 60 000 doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine by mid-February. The next shipment of the Moderna vaccine would be 4000 doses.

Provisional projections by Bulgaria’s Health Ministry are that it will have received about 1.5 million doses of vaccines, counting in the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, by the end of July. It expects to receive 4.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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

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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