From 29 July 2021, the regulations for eligible travellers who are travelling to Bulgaria from ‘red zone’ countries such as the UK have changed, and therefore they must also present:
a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before entry
a vaccination certificate showing an approved vaccine schedule has been completed at least 14 days before entry, or
a certificate of recovery from COVID-19
The PCR document must contain the names of the person in English, date of birth, type of test (PCR) and ‘Negative’ written in English, details of the medical institution that performed the test (name, address or other contact details), date and time of the test sample, the country in which the test has been performed and the authority that issued the document.
The vaccine document can be in the format of an EU Digital COVID certificate or a similar document containing the same information. This should include (in English), the name of the person, date of birth, date of the last administered dose, serial number of the dose, and the total number of doses administered, as well as the brand name of the vaccine, batch number of dose(s), the manufacturer’s name, the country and name of the organisation that issued the certificate.
The COVID recovery document showing a positive result from a PCR or rapid antigen test must be dated at least 11 days, but no more than 180 days before arrival into Bulgaria. The document must contain (in English), the name of the person, date of birth, date of the first positive result of the PCR or rapid antigen test, details of the medical institution that performed the test (name, address or other contact details), the authority that issued the document, the country in which the test has been performed, and ‘Positive’ written in English.
Bulgarian nationals and permanent and long-term residents, as well as their immediate family members (who they normally live with), who do not provide any of the above documents will be required to complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Bulgarian nationals and permanent and long-term residents, as well as their family members, who present only one of the documents – either a certificate of vaccination or recovery or a negative PCR test, will also be required to complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine. However, this 10-day quarantine period can be shortened if they present a negative PCR performed within the first 24 hours after their arrival in Bulgaria. The quarantine will be revoked within 24 hours after the submission of the document showing a negative result of the PCR test.
The document showing a negative result of the PCR should be submitted to the respective Regional Health Inspectorate. See a full list with their contacts.
For Sofia Health Inspectorate, submit your document to the following email address: *****@******.***. Due to an increased number of enquiries, the health authorities may not have enough capacity to respond to each individual email, so you should call them directly to find out if your quarantine has been lifted. The relevant telephone numbers are listed.
Children under the age of 12 years old, are exempt from the requirement to present COVID-19 documents upon their arrival in Bulgaria regardless of which colour zone they have travelled from.
Eligible children aged 12 to 18 who arrive from ‘red zone’ countries must present a negative result from a PCR test performed within 72 hours before entry into Bulgaria. If they do not present such a document, they may travel but must self-isolate for 10 days after arrival. This period can be shortened for children who are Bulgarian nationals or permanent and long-term residents of Bulgaria if they present a negative PCR test performed within the first 24 hours after their arrival in Bulgaria. The quarantine will be revoked within 24 hours after the submission of the document showing a negative result of the PCR test.
The measures are in force at all air, road, rail and sea border crossings into Bulgaria.
Exemptions, regardless of nationality, to the entry restrictions in Bulgaria for travellers from UK (and other red list countries) include medical workers, state officials and diplomats, persons traveling for humanitarian reasons, seasonal and tourist workers etc. Other categories of people who can enter Bulgaria without the need to submit documents for COVID-19 include: bus and lorry drivers, crews of vessels and aircraft, border workers, those transiting through the country, students who live in Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Romania or The Republic of North Macedonia and travel daily or at least once a week to Bulgaria for training purposes, travellers between Bulgaria and Romania and between Bulgaria and Czech Republic.
Further information on the full range of exemptions is available on the following Bulgarian Government web site (in Bulgarian). If you fall into one of the exempted categories, you should contact your travel operator in advance of travel for further information on how to demonstrate your exemption from the travel ban.
Many land borders crossings in the region are restricted or closed for passenger traffic. Furthermore, neighbouring countries are implementing additional health requirements for entry to or departure from Bulgaria including declarations and COVID-19 tests. You should check the relevant FCDO Travel Advice.
If you need to travel, plan ahead and before you travel check border information published by the Ministry of Interior (English and Bulgarian) before you travel.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status
Bulgaria will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.