Russian tourists can start planning their holidays in Bulgaria, because from May 1, Sunday, authorities officially lifted all anti-COVID travel restrictions. This means that our compatriots will no longer have to present a vaccination certificate, a certificate of a coronavirus or a negative test result for COVID-19. To travel, you only need a passport, a Bulgarian national visa or a Schengen visa. The new admission conditions have been published in a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.
“From May 1, 2022, all travel restrictions related to COVID-19 will be lifted. From this date, all arriving passengers are no longer required to provide COVID-19 related documents (i.e. COVID-19 vaccination certificates, COVID-19 recovery certificates, COVID-19 medical examinations) in order to be allowed enter the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria,” the document says.
In mid-April, the country on the Black Sea coast has already lifted anti-covid restrictions for arrivals from Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia, Israel, Macedonia and Egypt.
In particular, from April 1, the Bulgarian government lifted the last internal restrictions related to covid: the mandatory wearing of masks in closed public places, maintaining social distance, etc., although the country has the lowest vaccination rate among EU member states. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 30.2% of Bulgarians received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 29.7% the primary course and 10.7% the booster shot. Vaccination rates lag the EU/EEA primary course average by 42.7%. In addition, according to WHO data, Bulgaria has recorded 3,767 positive cases of COVID-19 over the past seven days, with a death rate of 60 over the same period.
Does Bulgaria issue visas?
Due to Western sanctions, Bulgarian visa centers in the Russian Federation have stopped issuing visas since March 25, for which a fee must be paid. Applicants who are exempted from paying it can apply as before. For example, these are minors under 12, tourists with disabilities, representatives of official delegations, family members of citizens of Bulgaria and the EU. In addition, Russians can cross the Bulgarian border with any Schengen visa, for example, Croatian or French. Recall that due to interrupted direct flights, you can get to Bulgaria with transfers. For example, in Belgrade or Istanbul.
Bulgaria is not the only EU member state to ease entry rules by early May. To list them:
- Lithuania has already announced that COVID-19 related requirements will be relaxed before the start of the summer season.
- Switzerland will open to travelers on May 2, freeing them from testing, quarantine and other requirements that are being enforced in an attempt to mitigate the further spread of the coronavirus.
“Current entry restrictions will be lifted from May 2nd. From this date, the normal rules for entering Switzerland will apply,” the State Secretariat for Migration said in a statement.
Countries that have already completely lifted restrictions are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland , Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden.
Earlier, Turprom published a complete list of countries that surrendered and lifted restrictions since May – details here.
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