Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria (June 1, 2020)
Event: Corrected Health Alert: Ministry of Health Order revises entry restrictions starting June 1, 2020.
Entry ban: The Bulgarian government ordered a prohibition on all persons, regardless of their citizenship, through all border crossings, by air, sea, rail and road transport, which went into effect on June 1 and is available at the Bulgarian Ministry of Health website.
Exceptions: Those excepted from the ban include: (a) Bulgarian nationals (and their family members or persons who are in actual cohabitation with a Bulgarian citizen), (b) nationals of the European Union (EU), North Macedonia, the Schengen Agreement States, Serbia, and the United Kingdom (UK); (c) persons with permanent or long-term resident status in Bulgaria (and their family members); (d) medical professionals, medical researchers, social workers, and their supervisors when traveling related to their duties; (e) workers involved in the supply of medicinal products, medical devices and personal protective equipment, medical equipment, including its installation and maintenance; (f) transport staff engaged in the international carriage of passengers and cargo, crews of commercial aircraft and other transport staff as required, including vessel crews and persons involved in the maintenance of vessels; (g) foreign officials, diplomats, officials of international organizations, military personnel, and humanitarian workers in the performance of their duties; (h) persons traveling for humanitarian reasons; (i) representatives of trade, economic and investment activities directly related to: construction, maintenance, operation and ensuring the safety of strategic and critical infrastructure of the Republic of Bulgaria, implementation of projects certified under the Investment Promotion Act, analysis on projects of potential investors and other activities of importance for the economy of the country, certified by a letter from the Minister of Economy or another minister responsible for the respective activity, as well as persons engaged in shipbuilding and ship repair; (j) seasonal agricultural and tourism workers; and, (k) frontier workers.
Transit: The order allows transit through Bulgaria to the country of residence for: (a) nationals of the EU, a Schengen country, or the UK and their family members; (b) non-EU nationals, who have a long-term residence permit in another EU Member State, the UK, or in a Schengen country and their family members. Nationals of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, or Turkey can transit to return to the country of which they are nationals. Transit is only permitted when the traveler will immediately depart Bulgaria.
Quarantine: A fourteen-day quarantine applies to all persons entering Bulgaria from Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and from all non-EU countries except North Macedonia and Serbia. Exceptions to the quarantine requirement are listed here.
Declaration for non-quarantined and those allowed to transit: Persons not subject to quarantine or who are allowed to transit through the territory of Bulgaria under this order must submit to health inspectors at the border a declaration (find a sample linked here), regarding observation of the Ministry of Health’s anti-epidemic measures and acknowledgement of the risks of COVID-19.
- The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for Covid-19.
- U.S. citizens who are not prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period should arrange for immediate return to the United States.
- U.S. citizens planning to return to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.
- Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.
- U.S. citizens who need assistance should contact the American Citizen Services Section at ACS_Sofia@state.gov.