Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria (January 12, 2022)
Event: Health Alert: Persons arriving from United States must meet one of the exceptions listed below to enter Bulgaria as of January 7, 2022
Under the Bulgarian Ministry of Health order, countries are classified as green, orange, or red zones based on their COVID-19 risk. The United States is considered a Red Zone country under the latest order and extension that went into effect on January 7, 2022. This means persons arriving from the United States are prohibited from entering Bulgaria unless they meet an exception listed below.
Please note that the current Bulgarian entry requirements are based on the country of departure only—not on citizenship and not on countries through which you transit. If you are departing from a Red Zone country, you must meet one of the listed exceptions to enter—the fact that you are vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result is not considered an exception.
If you do meet an exception to enter from a Red Zone country, or if you start your travel from a Green or Orange Zone country, you may enter Bulgaria under the conditions listed in the new Health Order of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. See our COVID-19 information page for details.
Exceptions: Those excepted from the Red Zone country entry restrictions include:
- Bulgarian citizens and persons with the status of permanent or long-term residence status in Bulgaria and their immediate family members;
- Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, the Swiss Confederation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and their family members arriving from a Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area, the Swiss Confederation, and from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
- Medical professionals, medical researchers, social workers, and their supervisors when traveling related to their duties;
- Workers involved in the supply of medicinal products, medical devices and personal protective equipment, medical equipment, including its installation and maintenance;
- Foreign officials, diplomats, members of the administrative and technical staff of foreign missions, officials of international organizations, military personnel, and humanitarian workers in the performance of their duties and their family members;
- Persons traveling for humanitarian reasons and their family members;
- Foreign students attending a university in Bulgaria, who present an official document from the University as well as foreign students who hold long term “D” study visas;
- Foreign citizens, who are to receive a decree under the Bulgarian Citizenship Law for acquiring a Bulgarian citizenship, certified by a letter from the Minister of Justice;
- In all other cases persons travelling from Red Zone countries may enter Bulgaria with the permission of the Minister of Health. All those seeking this exemption must present a letter from the Minister of Health, which includes the reasons for applying for the entry exemption. Such letters are issued in extremely limited cases and for very specific reasons.
- The Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory (“Do Not Travel”) for Bulgaria.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Bulgaria (“Avoid Travel to Bulgaria”).
Actions to Take:
- All U.S. citizens should enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Bulgaria.
- Refer to our website for the latest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. citizens needing assistance should contact the Embassy by email at ACS_Sofia@state.gov or by phone at+359-2-937-5100 during normal business hours. For after-hours emergencies (that is, the arrest, death, or danger to the safety and security of U.S. citizens), please call +359-2-937-5101.
- U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria
+359-2-937-5100 (business hours)
+359-2-937-5101 (after hours—emergencies only—arrest, death, or danger to the safety and security of U.S. citizens)
- State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Bulgaria Country Information
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter