Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Zaharieva and EU foreign ministers discuss travel facilitation

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva said that the lifting of travel restrictions in the European Union should be coordinated and in line with the European Commission's Tourism and Transport Package.
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Ekaterina Zaharieva spoke during a videoconferencing meeting organised by Germany with the participation of foreign ministers and high-ranking diplomatic representatives from 13 countries in the EU and dedicated to restoring safe free travel in Europe.

“Bulgaria has adopted strict rules to ensure the safety of the tourism sector, which accounts for nearly 13% of the Bulgarian economy and about 11% of the employment in the country,” Ekaterina Zaharieva said.

From 1 June in Bulgaria, tourists from 28 EU Member States and the Schengen area, which are not subject to 14 days quarantine, and 8 more who have to undergo a quarantine period are welcome.

Our Foreign Minister pointed out that the situation in Bulgaria in connection with the spread of the coronavirus is stable and we are currently one of the safest tourist destinations.

The participants in the meeting discussed the gradual lifting of restrictive measures in the respective countries and agreed that tourism activities would require a responsible approach that includes close coordination between European partners.

The security and health of citizens during the summer season must be guaranteed. Restoring freedom of movement in the EU must take account of the COVID-19 situation in each country and should not harm countries' efforts to tackle the pandemic.

Prerequisites for cancellation of official travel warnings are a low level of infections in the countries of origin and final destination, as well as specific measures taken in the field of infection control and healthcare, especially in tourism and travel based on the Commission's recommendations under tourism and transport from 13 May 2020

The meeting was held on the initiative of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. It included the foreign ministers of Austria, Cyprus, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, as well as deputy foreign ministers of France and Portugal.

This is the second such videoconferencing meeting organised by Germany to discuss the situation with restrictive measures on EU travel. The first one took place on 18 May on the occasion of the Tourism and Transport Package presented by the European Commission.

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