Bulgaria to ease entry rules to lure back tourists

SOFIA, April 23 (Reuters) - Bulgaria, eager to encourage holiday-makers to its Black Sea resorts, will ease rules for entry to the Balkan country from May 1, its outgoing health minister Kostadin Angelov said on Friday.

“From May 1, when the tourist season starts, we will allow entry in the country in three ways: with a vaccination certificate, with a negative test result from a PCR or an antigen test,” Kostadin Angelov told reporters.

“The third option is a document proving that the person has recovered from the coronavirus infection in the past six months,” he said.

Foreign tourists provide the biggest chunk of revenues for Bulgaria’ tourism sector, which has been hard hit by the travel restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s Black Sea resorts hope that with increased vaccinations and eased entry rules, tourists from Germany, Ukraine and the United Kingdom will return this year.

Bulgaria has restricted access to the country since the start of the pandemic, but travellers from European Union countries, Israel, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, as well as neighbouring North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey are free to visit. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by Barbara Lewis)