Covid-19: Belgium changes rules for arrivals from Bulgaria, Spain deems whole country ‘at risk’

As of August 21, Belgium has declared Bulgaria a Covid-19 “red zone”, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said.

Those arriving in Belgium from a “red zone” country must present one of three documents.

One is a certificate of completed vaccination against Covid-19. This means two injections, the second from at least two weeks ago, while the vaccine must be one that is certified by the European Medicines Agency or Covishield.

The second is a certificate of recovery, meaning that the person has had Covid-19 and recovered. This means that the person had a positive PCR test at least 180 days ago and the isolation period has expired.

The third is a certificate of a negative PCR test done no more than 72 hours previously.

Those who do not have one of these three documents must go into quarantine.

Belgian nationals and permanent residents may take a PCR test on the first or second day after arriving in Belgium and, after receiving a negative result, be released from quarantine.

Children under the age of 12 need not be tested, but should remain in quarantine until the results of tests on their parents are known.

The obligation to fill in the Passenger Locator Form – PLF within 48 hours before the trip remains in place.

In a separate statement, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that Spain had declared all of Bulgaria, not just individual regions as before, “at risk”.

The requirements for the provision of diagnostic tests for Covid-19, vaccination certificates or documents for having undergone the virus remain unchanged.

One entering Spain, those arriving from Bulgaria must present one of four documents.

The first is a document proving a completed cycle of vaccination against Covid-19, showing a minimum 14 days since the last dose. A vaccination cycle is considered to be completed when the person has received an appropriate number of doses of a vaccine officially recognised by the European Union.

The second is a document showing a negative result of a PCR test done up to 72 hours before entering the country, or a rapid antigen test for Covid-19 done up to 48 hours before entry into the country.

The third is a document issued by a medical institution certifying having undergone Covid-19, valid from the 11th day after a positive PCR test until the 180th day.

The fourth is an EU Digital Covid Certificate, certifying one of the above requirements.

As before, there are random checks on those arriving in Spain, including measuring temperature and a visual check on the person’s overall condition.

Those travelling to Spain must fill in the sanitary control form, on the Spanish Ministry of Health website as well as have a QR code issued after the form is completed.

Children under the age of 12 are not required to submit diagnostic tests to enter Spain, but the sanitary control form must also be completed for them.

The list of countries at risk will be reviewed again by the Spanish authorities by August 29 2021 at the latest, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said.

(Photo of Brussels:

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.

Please support independent journalism by clicking on the orange button below. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.