FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) wait outside a labour office in Sofia, Bulgaria, April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov/File Photo
SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria will lift an obligatory 14-day quarantine from June 1 for travellers from most European Union countries, but not those states with the biggest coronavirus outbreaks, the government announced on Friday.
The quarantine will remain obligatory for travellers from Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Malta, as well as the UK, which is in a transition period after leaving the EU, according to an order issued by Health Minister Kiril Ananiev.
A ban on the entry of visitors from outside the EU will remain in place, although there will be exemptions for citizens of the Schengen zone countries, the United Kingdom, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City as well as Serbia and North Macedonia.
Bulgaria has eased most of the restrictive measures it imposed in March to combat the coronavirus spread, allowing restaurants, cafes, gyms and theatres to reopen and lifting a ban on travel between cities.
Last week it lifted a ban on the entry of citizens from EU countries, but imposed a 14-day quarantine. By allowing visitors from other parts of the EU it hopes to restore trade and boost summer tourism to its Black Sea resorts, hard hit by the lockdown.
The Balkan country of 7 million people registered eight new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total registered cases to 2,475, including 136 deaths – a much lower rate than many other EU countries.
Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova and Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Susan Fenton and Frances Kerry