Having a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts, Bulgaria is a certified spot for tourists from across the globe.
However, the country has put in place stringent travel restrictions and has also enforced some precautionary measures internally directed towards protecting the health of its residents.
Is Bulgaria Open For Tourists?
Yes, Bulgaria has opened the summer tourist season since May 1, 2021, following the country’s earlier approval of security measures for the operation of hotels, cafes, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Bulgaria travel restrictions
- All travellers, regardless of their citizenship and the country of origin, are allowed entry upon presentation of one of the following documents: a certificate of vaccination, with the last dose of vaccine administered at least 14 days before entry and a document showing a positive test result (PCR or antigen test) for people who recovered from Covid-19 in the period between 15 and 180 days before entry.
- As of 1 May, travellers coming from India, Bangladesh, Brazil and some countries and territories in Africa are not allowed to enter Bulgaria, except Bulgarian citizens and permanent or long-term residents in the country (including their family members), to which a 10-day quarantine applies.
- As a general rule, passengers in transit in the EU+ area are exempted from temporary travel restriction. EU citizens entering the EU from a third country, as well as their family members, irrespective of their nationality, are exempted from the travel restrictions regardless of whether or not they are returning to their country of nationality or residence.
Passengers travelling from a non-EU country to another non-EU country may transit through the international transit area of airports located in the Schengen area. Rules regarding airport transit visa requirements continue to apply.
- Additionally, for Bulgaria, the following rules apply:
Transit through Bulgaria to the country of residence is allowed for the people who are also allowed to enter the country:
(a) Nationals of the EU or a Schengen country and their family members;
(b) Nationals of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Corea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Belarus, Kuwait. Furthermore, nationals of Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Moldova and Turkey, as well as Kuwait and Israel, can transit to return to the country of which they are nationals.
c) All the other categories of people listed under point n.2 of the Order № RD-01-196 of 31.03.2021 for a temporary ban on entry into the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria (in Bulgarian).
- Transit is only permitted when the traveller will immediately leave Bulgaria. Persons who are allowed to transit must submit to health inspectors at the border a declaration, regarding observation of the Ministry of Health’s anti-epidemic measures and acknowledgement of the risks of COVID-19.
- A pre-departure negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) is required for travellers arriving from the following countries: Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Corea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Israel, Belarus, Kuwait, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Moldova, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
The test must be taken within 72 hours (PCR) or 48 hours (antigen test) before departure.
Bulgaria quarantine rules
- Bulgarian citizens, permanent or long-term residents in Bulgaria and their family members, who do not present the negative result of a COVID-19 test, must complete a 10-day mandatory quarantine.
- The quarantine period may be ended upon the presentation of a document showing the negative result of a COVID-19 test performed within 24 hours from the entry.
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