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Bulgaria, neighbors ease travel restrictions


Agence France-Presse

Sofia, Bulgaria  /  Wed, May 20, 2020  /  10:32 am
Bulgaria, neighbors ease travel restrictions

An elderly woman wearing a protective face mask walks in front of the Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral in Sofia on March 31, 2020 after all public gardens, children's playgrounds and open-air sports facilities in Bulgaria were sealed to prevent social gathering, allowing only dog owners solitary walks, in a move aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (AFP/Nikolay Doychinov)

Bulgaria and its neighbors Greece and Serbia on Tuesday agreed to ease travel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

Travelers from Greece and Serbia on business trips or with family ties, and diplomats, humanitarian and transport workers will be allowed to enter Bulgaria from June 1 without undergoing a 14-day quarantine, said Bulgarian Premier Boyko Borisov.

From June 15, the same will apply to tourists, the Foreign Ministry added.

The agreement between the three countries is reciprocal and follows a video meeting between the state heads of the neighbors, as well as Romania.

In Romania, the parliament has yet to decide if it will introduce a similar reciprocal easing, Borisov said.

Bulgaria banned the entry of foreigners in March due to the coronavirus epidemic. Cargo traffic was still allowed to pass through the country.

To date, the Balkan country of seven million people has reported fewer than 2,300 cases and 112 deaths.

Under the new rules agreed Tuesday, travelers from Greece and Serbia will be required to fill in a declaration that they are coronavirus symptom-free.

Borisov said he was holding similar talks with Austria and Germany.

Nine EU states, including Germany, said Monday they were in favor of "progressive" cross-border movement, "provided current positive trends continue leading to comparable epidemiological situations in countries of origin and of destination".

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