Germany adds parts of Romania, Bulgaria to list of COVID risk areas

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany has declared certain regions in Romania and Bulgaria as risk areas after an increase in COVID-19 infections there, as Europe struggles to control an uptick in cases during the summer season.

Germany’s foreign ministry late on Friday issued a warning against traveling to the Romanian regions of Arges, Bihor, Buzau, Neamt, Ialomita, Mehedinti and Timis as well as to Bulgaria’s Blagoevgrad, Dobritsch and Varna regions.

Travelers entering Germany from those areas of Romania and Bulgaria, which are both members of the European Union, will face mandatory coronavirus tests. If they test positive, they will then face a two-week quarantine.

Romania, Bulgaria and most other countries in southeast Europe including Greece have so far reported relatively low numbers of COVID-19 infections compared to western Europe, while Germany has fared better than other large European countries.

As of Aug. 8, Romania had reported 60,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in total during the pandemic, with 2,659 deaths, and Bulgaria 13,209 cases and 442 deaths. Germany had reported 215,097 cases and 9,167 deaths.

Germany has designated about 130 countries as high-risk, including Turkey, Egypt and the United States.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Gareth Jones