<p>The Bulgarian capital of Sofia </p>

The Bulgarian capital of Sofia

Bulgaria bans travellers from US following EU advice

The rules apply to point of departure, rather than country of citizenship

Lucy Thackray
Thursday 02 September 2021 09:57
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Bulgaria has made the US a “red zone”, meaning that travellers coming from the country, regardless of vaccination status, are barred unless they meet strict exemption criteria.

The change was introduced on 1 September, shortly after the European Union removed the US from its “white list” of destinations considered highest risk.

“Please note that the current Bulgarian entry requirements are based on the country of departure only – not on citizenship and not on countries through which you transit,” read the statement.

“That means US citizens starting their travel from Green or Orange Zones may enter Bulgaria under the conditions listed in the new Health Order of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health.”

Exemptions to the travel ban include Bulgarian citizenship, being the immediate family member of a citizen, medical professionals and researchers, foreign officials and diplomats, students with certain visas and humanitarian workers.

Following the EU’s change of advice on the US, Italy was the first European nation to update its travel rules, making a negative test on arrival mandatory for all US tourists, as well as imposing five days of quarantine on unvaccinated American visitors.

The US is seeing its fourth wave of high cases – last week, the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 rose above 100,000 for the first time since January.

The country has been hit hard by the Delta variant, which seems to be sweeping quickly through the unvaccinated population, with the vaccination rate moving slower than in other countries.

Around 62 per cent of US citizens aged 12 and older have had at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 70 per cent of all adults in the European Union are now fully vaccinated.

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