Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov has issued an order setting out the criteria for colour-coding countries according to their Covid-19 situation to decide whether arrivals from these countries may be allowed.
The new rules come into effect on July 1, dividing countries into green, orange or red zones.
There are five criteria for assessing the prevalence of Covid-19.
The first is 14-day morbidity, the total number of newly registered cases of Covid-19 in the past 14 days per 100 000 population.
The second is weekly positivity of the laboratory tests performed – the relative share in per cent of the positive samples in the country in relation to all performed PCR tests and rapid antigenic tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection in the preceding seven days.
The third is the level of research in the country – the number of tests performed for SARS-CoV-2 infection per 100 000 people in the preceding seven days.
The fourth is the detection of a variant of Covid-19 that has been identified as a matter of concern, and the fifth, whether there is a lack of sufficient or reliable information about the Covid-19 situation in the country.
For a country to be classified as a green zone, at the time of the assessment the 14-day morbidity rate must be lower than 75 per 100 000 population and the weekly positivity of the laboratory tests performed is higher or equal to four per cent; or, if at the time of assessment the 14-day incidence per 100 000 population is between 75 and 200 per 100 000 population and the weekly positivity of the laboratory tests performed is less than four per cent.
A country will be classified as an orange zone if at the time of assessment the 14-day incidence per 100 000 population is between 75 and 200 per 100 000 population and the weekly positivity of the laboratory tests performed is higher or equal to four per cent; or if at the time of assessment the 14-day incidence per 100 000 population is between 200 and 500 per 100 000 population.
A country will be classified as a red zone if at the time of assessment the 14-day incidence per 100 000 population is higher than or equal to 500 per 100 000 population; or if there is a lack of sufficient or reliable information about the Covid-19 situation, or if a variant is spreading to the level of being classified as a concern.
Those arriving from a green zone may enter Bulgaria on presentation of a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate of vaccination, having undergone the disease, or test result, or a similar document containing the same data as an EU Digital Covid Certficate.
If not presenting such documentation, the person must go into 10-day quarantine at home or at an address stated to the health inspectorate.
However, the head of the regional health inspectorate may lift this quarantine if the person e-mails a certificate showing a negative PCR or rapid antigen test. The quarantine must be lifted within 24 hours of the presentation of a negative test result.
Those arriving from an orange zone will be allowed into Bulgaria only on presentation of a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate or equivalent with the same data. At least five per cent of all entrants from orange zone countries must undergo rapid antigen tests, according to Katsarov’s order.
Arrivals from red zone countries are banned.
The list of countries in each zone will be decided on the basis of information published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, in the case of EU and EEA countries, and the World Health Organization and the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control in the case of all other countries.
The list will be reviewed at least once a week and, if necessary, updated on Monday, and – in the event of a deterioration of the epidemic situation in the country concerned – may be updated more frequently. The updated list takes effect from midnight the following day.
The order also provides for a number of exceptions regarding entry rules, such as in the case of medical personnel and humanitarian staff travelling for reasons directly related to their profession.
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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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