An up to date article with some of the most important information, requirements, things to do and documents to download during lockdown in Bulgaria.
Update: 04 June 2020
Yesterday, the Bulgarian Prime minister announced that Bulgaria returns to normal life from 15th of June. Masks will not be compulsory indoors. He also said that the two most important factors are distance & disinfection and advised people to continue washing their hands more often than usual.
9% VAT from 1 of July 2020 – a temporary deduction of the VAT for restaurants, bars, coffee shops etc. Yesterday, it was announced that books and supporting items for children up to 3 years old (pampers etc) will also be with a lower VAT of 9%.
15 of June 2020 – the date we are all waiting for when Europe opens its inside borders. However, please know and make sure you have checked the specific requirements & regulation of each country you are planning to travel to. Those vary greatly from country to country. You do not want to be stuck somewhere under quarantine for days, right? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria has a pretty decent website with specific information & contacts of worldwide ministries & embassies. Check it our here
Update: 28 May 2o2o
Currently, it is compulsory to wear a mask only in closed shops and public places. The restaurants, bars and coffee shops are welcoming guests only in outside areas with 1.5metre distance between tables.
Traveling within Bulgaria is now absolutely possible. There are no border points asking for reasons to travel around the country. There are some restriction in regards to sunbathing on the Black see. If interested about those – write us a note and we will tell you all we know.
On the 15th of June, the EU will open all internal boundaries, allowing us to hopefully travel freely within the union. Please double-check with all local and national authorities before heading up anywhere. Although the situation seems rather easy, the international regulatory bodies are strictly following procedures and no-one wants to be stuck on a border just because the news were not double-checked.
On 3rd of April 2020, The Bulgarian National Assembly decided to extend the state of emergency due to the proliferation of COVID-19 until 13 May 2020. The proposal was submitted by the Council of Ministers on 2 April 2020.
This makes the emergency state in Bulgaria with a duration of 2 months, for now. According to unconfirmed sources, Bulgaria acted quick and on time to lockdown the country and prevent the spread of the virus. According to the news in the past 3 weeks, there is an increase of infected people, but the curve is rather flat.
So, having in mind all of the above, together with the fact that we will continue doing what we are doing for the upcoming weeks, here is a quick guide of what we can and what we shouldn’t do in a state of emergency.
Do’s & Don’ts
Currently, there is no vaccine in the world to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
For that reason, the World Health Organisation (WHO) urges to protect ourself and prevent spreading the virus to others by doing the following:
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell
- Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell
Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean
Wearing a mask is compulsory
As of 12th of April until 26th of April, having a mask, a scarf or anything else to cover your nose and mouth is compulsory. The Ministry of health informed that
All citizens who are indoors or outdoors public places (including public transport, shopping facilities, parks, churches, monasteries, temples, bay, streets, bus stops, etc.) are required to put on their face a single-use or a reusable face mask or something else (including a towel, scarf, etc.) to cover their nose and mouth.
For more advice and infographics, the WHO has more informative materials here.
Travelling around Bulgaria
The information on the Ministry of Interior is in Bulgarian only… So here it is in English.
On 24th of March the Min. of Int. published an updated checkpoint declaration form for crossing the regional cities.
After analysing the effectiveness of the first 3 days of the functioning of the checkpoints in the regional cities and the received inquiries and recommendations from citizens, as well as to prevent abuse, we specify:
The format of the travel declaration is changing. The new form is published on the website of the Ministry of Interior www.mvr.bg.
The change is about going through the checkpoint in connection with employment. In the revised declaration form, the certification from the employer in item 3 is dropped.
The completed declarations will be collected by the CCP staff in order to control the implementation of the measure and to check the data filled in it.
Citizens traveling for other urgent reasons must present a valid ID together with the declaration. In such cases, the declaration will remain with the CPC officer.
It is recalled that in accordance with the order of the Minister of Health of 21 March 2020 for the introduction of new anti-epidemic measures, entry and exit of citizens through the checkpoints is allowed only if there is an urgent need.
The Checkpoint Declaration
Travelling to Bulgaria
On 6th of April, The Health Minister issued an order imposing a temporary ban on entry into the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. The order also introduces a quarantine order. Specific rules are also introduced with regard to persons providing goods and services.
The entry of citizens, irrespective of their nationality, coming from Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg is also prohibited at all checkpoints and of all kinds. transport.
There are exceptions, of course for all people connected to and helping with the pandemic. For specific information and more details you can either drop us a line or get in direct contact with the Ministry of Interior.