Bulgaria to continue to require green certificate for entry from April 1

Bulgaria will continue to require a digital green certificate for arrivals from anywhere in the world from April 1, the Health Ministry said on March 30.

The green certificate may be for vaccination against Covid-19, having undergone the illness or for a test result.

Bulgaria is abolishing its system of colour-coding foreign countries and removing the ban on the entry of people arriving from “red zone” countries – meaning that from April 1, there is no bar on arrivals from any country.

The news conference was held on the topic of the situation after Bulgaria’s Covid-19 epidemic declaration ends at the close of March 31.

From April 1, various rules fall away – wearing protective masks in enclosed public places will no be obligatory, nor will physical distancing.

Also abolished from that date is the limit on the number of people who may visit indoor places at the same time, restrictions on in-person learning at universities, the ban on visits to hospitals and social services homes, and the requirement for employers – where possible – to have no more than 50 per cent staff present at the workplace.

Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev told the news conference that it was “strongly recommended” for people to wear protective masks on public transport, in hospitals, in poorly ventilated areas, when large groups of people congregate outdoors, and by the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

Kunchev said that not wearing a mask greatly increased the risk of Covid-19 infection.

He recommended continuing to take steps such as physical distancing and regular disinfection.

Health Minister Assena Serbezova told the news conference: “Life after the pandemic will never be the same, the return to normalcy is relative”.

She said that one in five who had Covid-19 suffered from post-Covid symptoms for months.

Serbezova said that the ministry would continue its campaign to promote the benefits of vaccination against Covid-19.

More than 94 per cent of those in Bulgaria who had died of Covid-19 had not been vaccinated, she said.

“Covid-19 will stay with us, but we must learn to live with it and be able to treat it without it being linked to an emergency epidemic,” Serbezova said, adding that other diseases were treated without there being an epidemic declaration on place.

It is possible that differing anti-epidemic measures may be announced at regional level depending on the epidemiological situation.

Draft legislation that is being debated in Parliament, with a final vote expected in some weeks, rules out internal travel restrictions and closures of public places such as restaurants.

The news conference was told that orders signed by Serbezova detailing the situation after April 1 were expected to be posted on the ministry’s website “by the end of the day”.

(Photo: Sofia Airport)

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