Bulgaria Eases Travel Restrictions After Decrease In Coronavirus-19 Cases

Kiril Petkov Bulgaria Prime Minister

In Bulgaria, restaurants, shopping malls, and other public venues will no longer require a Covid-19 “green certificate” as Coronavirus infections shrink, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov announced on Monday.

The Bulgarian government made ‘the health pass’ – a digital or paper document that certifies someone has been vaccinated, tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus – a requirement for most indoor spaces last October. Protests against its introduction have erupted in the least vaccinated country of the EU, angering bar and restaurant owners and anti-vaccine activists. A new protest is set to take place on Wednesday.

The number of new Coronavirus cases in this 7 million-person Balkan country of Bulgaria has dropped by more than a double-digit rate every week in the last three weeks. On Jan. 26, there were more than 12,000 new cases registered. On Monday, it reported 1,235 new daily infections.

We managed to navigate the Omicron wave without closing down many schools or businesses… Our forecasts indicate the Green Certificate restrictions could be lifted as soon as March 20,” Petkov told reporters. Bulgarian Prime Minister Petkov said his government would continue to urge Bulgarians to get vaccinated and that the vaccination certificates would still be required for those who wished to travel to other European Union countries.

Bulgaria will start to de-restrict access to public venues such as shopping malls, cinemas, gyms, and bars on Feb. 24, when owners of such establishments will be allowed to accept customers without a green certificate.

All foreign visitors with a green certificate will be allowed into Bulgaria starting on March 5 — a move Bulgaria hopes will boost its tourism industry.

Angel Kunchev, the country’s chief health inspector, said March 20 that the health pass would only be used for travel abroad if everything goes according to plan.

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