Bulgaria to make all incoming travellers take COVID-19 tests

FILE PHOTO: Medical personnel from Sofia's biggest emergency hospital, Pirogov, turn on the flashlights of their mobile phones as they participate in an organised initiative by Sofia's major hospitals to appeal to Bulgarians to comply with the restrictions aimed at containing the spike in the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Bulgaria, October 27, 2020. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov/File Photo

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria will make everyone coming into the country take COVID-19 tests to stop the spread of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, health minister Kostandin Angelov said on Monday.

Bulgarian health authorities say they have so far recorded eight cases of the new variant that was first identified in Britain.

“Today we will undertake actions to make PCR tests compulsory for all travellers that want to enter the country, including from the European Union,” Angelov told a government meeting.

The country has seen a significant drop in new infections in recent weeks and is planning to ease some restrictions and reopen secondary schools, shopping malls and gyms from Feb. 4.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Andrew Heavens