Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria

Location:  Bulgaria
Event:  Health Alert: Ministry of Health Order revises and extends entry restrictions and quarantine requirements.

Entry restrictions:  U.S. citizens are still prohibited from entering Bulgaria unless they meet one of the exceptions to entry restrictions found in the current Ministry of Health Order.  The entry restrictions apply to all persons, regardless of their citizenship, through all border crossings, by air (including commercial and private aircraft), sea, rail and road transport, and are in effect from July 28, 2020 to August 31, 2020, and are posted on the Bulgarian Ministry of Health website.  Please note that the Council of Ministers also announced an extension of the emergency epidemic situation to August 31, 2020.

Exceptions:  Those excepted from entry restrictions include: (a) Bulgarian nationals (and their family members or persons who are in actual cohabitation with a Bulgarian citizen); nationals of the European Union, the United Kingdom (UK) and the Schengen Agreement States (including Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City), and their family members or persons who are in actual cohabitation with them; citizens of Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Georgia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Ukraine; persons with permanent or long-term resident status in Bulgaria (and their family members); persons with resident status (and their family members) of Member States of the European Union, the UK, and the Schengen Agreement States (including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City); (b) medical professionals, medical researchers, social workers, and their supervisors when traveling related to their duties; (v) workers involved in the supply of medicinal products, medical devices and personal protective equipment, medical equipment, including its installation and maintenance; (g) transport staff engaged in the international carriage of passengers and cargo, crews of commercial aircraft and other transport staff as required, including vessel crews and persons involved in the maintenance of vessels; (d) 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; (e) persons traveling for humanitarian reasons and their family; (zh) representatives of trade, economic, and investment activities directly related to: construction, maintenance, operation and ensuring the safety of strategic and critical infrastructure of the Republic of Bulgaria, implementation of projects certified under the Investment Promotion Act, analysis on projects of potential investors and other activities of importance for the economy of the country, certified by a letter from the Minister of Economy or another minister responsible for the respective activity, as well as persons engaged in shipbuilding and ship repair, and their family members; (z) seasonal agricultural and tourism workers; (i) frontier workers; (k) students traveling for activities related to the completion of the current academic year, including practical training and exams, or for the preparation of the next academic year, when it is impossible to conduct these activities from a distance.

Quarantine: A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is not required for nationals arriving in Bulgaria from EU Member States, the UK, and the Schengen countries, as well as from Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Ukraine, and Jordan. Nationals of these countries are not subject to a 14-day quarantine.

Nationals of North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Moldova, Israel, and Kuwait can enter Bulgaria with a negative PCR test performed in the last 72 hours. The Bulgarian border authorities must be presented with a document showing a negative result, written in the Latin method (PCR), which contains the names of the person, according to the identity document with which he travels, data about the laboratory that performed the test, and the date on which the PCR test was performed.

Travelers who fall into one of the above exception categories but whose travel to Bulgaria originates in any other country must present a negative result from a PCR test done up to 72 hours before entering Bulgaria, However, Bulgarian citizens, citizens of EU Member States, the UK and the Schengen Agreement States who are traveling for humanitarian reasons as described in point (e) above or for economic activities as listed in point (zh) above are exempted from the PCR test requirement of this paragraph. Further exemptions, regardless of nationality, include bus and truck drivers, aircraft crew members and persons traveling for the reasons listed in points (b), (v), (d) and (i) above.

For Bulgarian citizens, persons with Bulgarian residence permits, and their family members only: if arriving in Bulgaria without the required PCR test done in advance, they will be admitted and required to self-isolate/quarantine at home for 14 days.

Exceptions for Transit: The order allows transit through Bulgaria for return to the traveler’s  country of  residence only for: (a) citizens of EU Member States, the UK, and Schengen Agreement States, and their family members; (b) non-EU nationals who have a long-term residence permit in another EU Member State, the UK, or in a Schengen country and their family members.  Nationals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, or Turkey can transit to their home country or another country.  Transit is only permitted when the traveler will immediately depart Bulgaria, and a PCR test result in advance is not required.

Masks: All persons must cover their mouth and nose with a covering in all indoor public spaces (including hospitals, pharmacies, administrative institutions, shops, malls, churches, museums, and all public transportation including railway, bus and metro stations, and airports, etc.) with the exception of customers in food and drinking establishments.

  • The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for Covid-19.
  • U.S. citizens who are not prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period should arrange for immediate return to the United States.
  • Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.
  • U.S. citizens who need assistance should contact the American Citizen Services Section at

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