After the USA has been removed from the EU’s safe travel list, Bulgaria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden tighten the travel restrictions for American travelers.
Italy was the first European country to introduce requirements for American tourists.
As of September 12, France will also remove the United States from its secure travel list.
According to the order of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health, countries are classified as green, orange or red zones based on their COVID-19 risk. As of September 1, 2021, the United States is considered a country in the red zones. This means that people arriving from the United States, regardless of citizenship, are prohibited from entering Bulgaria unless they meet an exemption.
Please note that the current Bulgarian entry requirements are based only on the country of departure – not on citizenship and not on countries through which you travel.
US citizens starting their journey from green or orange zones can enter Bulgaria under the conditions set out in the new health order Ministry of Health of Bulgaria (order RD-01-733 / 27.08.2021) valid from 1 September 2021 to 30 November 2021.
Green zone: Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Vatican City.
Orange zone: All countries outside the green and red zone.
All travelers arriving in Bulgaria from a green or orange area, regardless of citizenship, can enter without quarantine if they present an EU digital COVID certificate showing that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has received a negative COVID test result, or has recovered from COVID-19. EU national authorities are responsible for issuing the certificate. The certificate can be issued by test centers or health care authorities, or directly via an eHealth portal. The digital version can be stored on a mobile device. Citizens can also request a paper version. Both will have a QR code that contains important information, as well as a digital signature to ensure that the certificate is genuine. Similar documents containing the same data as EU digital certificates are also accepted.
People coming from the green zone who do not present an EU digital COVID certificate will be quarantined for a period of 10 days. The quarantine can be revoked if they receive a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) performed 24 hours after arrival in Bulgaria or a positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity to COVID-19 for persons who had a coronavirus infection no more than 6 months from the date of entry into Bulgaria. The quarantine must be lifted within 24 hours after the submission of the document showing a negative PCR test result or a positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity to COVID-19. The Director of the respective regional health inspectorate may revoke the issued quarantine treaty when submitting by e-mail a document showing a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction test performed within 24 hours of entering the country to prove COVID-19 or by a rapid antigen test according to the specification in Appendix № 2. The recommendation shall be removed within 24 hours after the document has shown a negative test result.
At least 5% of all arrivals from countries with an orange zone will be randomly tested with a rapid antigen test on arrival in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian citizens and persons with permanent or long-term residence status in Bulgaria and their family members coming from the Orange Zone who do not have an EU digital COVID certificate will be quarantined for a period of 10 days. The quarantine can be revoked if they receive a negative result from a PCR test performed 24 hours after arrival in Bulgaria or a positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity to COVID-19 for persons who did not have coronavirus infection within 6 months from the date of entry into Bulgaria. The quarantine must be lifted within 24 hours after the submission of the document showing a negative PCR test result or a positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity to COVID-19.
Persons arriving from the red zone are not allowed to enter Bulgaria unless they fulfill an exemption.
Exception: Those exempted from entry restrictions for red zones include:
- Bulgarian citizens and persons with permanent or long-term residence status in Bulgaria and their immediate family members;
- Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation and their family members coming from a Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation;
- Physicians, medical researchers, social workers and their supervisors when traveling in connection with their tasks;
- Workers involved in the supply of medicines, medical equipment and personal protective equipment, medical equipment, including installation and maintenance;
- Foreign officials, diplomats, members of the administrative and technical staff of foreign missions, officials of international organizations, military personnel and humanitarian workers in the performance of their duties and their family members;
- People traveling for humanitarian reasons and their families;
- Seasonal agricultural and tourist workers;
- Students who have long-term “D” study visas;
- Foreign nationals, who must obtain a decree under the Bulgarian Citizenship Act to acquire Bulgarian citizenship, confirmed by a letter from the Minister of Justice.
- In all other cases, persons traveling from countries in red zones may enter Bulgaria with the permission of the Minister of Health. Anyone applying for this exemption must present a letter from the Minister of Health containing the reasons for applying for an entry exemption.
Persons eligible for an exemption can enter Bulgaria by presenting a valid digital EU -COVID certificate of vaccination or recovery certificate or a similar document together with a negative result from a test performed up to 72 hours before entering in the country using the polymerase chain reaction method for COVID-19, certified by a valid EU digital COVID certificate for testing or a similar document containing the same data as the EU digital COVID certificate for testing. Those who do not present a valid EU digital COVID certificate for vaccination or a certificate of recovery or a similar document may be admitted to the territory of the country only after presenting a negative result from a test performed up to 72 hours before entering the country of the polymerase chain reaction method for COVID-19, certified by a valid EU digital COVID certificate for testing or a similar document containing the same data as the EU digital COVID certificate for testing, and they shall be quarantined for a period for 10 days at home or at another accommodation, where the person has indicated that he / she will live, with a recommendation from the director of the respective regional health inspectorate or a deputy director.
Children aged 12-18 coming from the red zone can enter the country by presenting by e-mail a negative PCR test, certified by an EU Digital certificate. Those who do not present such a document will be quarantined for a period of 10 days. The quarantine for children aged 12-18 who are Bulgarian citizens and persons with permanent or long-term residence status in Bulgaria can be revoked if they receive a negative result from a PCR test performed 24 hours after arrival in Bulgaria. The quarantine must be lifted within 24 hours after the submission of the document showing a negative PCR test result or a positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity to COVID-19.
Denmark has reintroduced its travel ban on American residents who are not fully vaccinated. The new rules came into force on 4 September.
In Denmark’s latest adjustment of its entry rules, the United States, together with five other countries, had to be reclassified to “orange” status. This means that American residents who can prove full vaccination will still be allowed to enter Denmark without the requirement for testing or isolation.
Denmark considers that someone is fully vaccinated when at least 14 days have passed since a complete course of an EMA-approved vaccine has been completed. EU digital certificates are accepted as proof. Other documentation must include name, date of birth, name of vaccine (s) and date (s) of vaccination.
For American travelers without complete vaccination, a “dignified purpose” is required to enter Denmark. Dignified purposes include jobs, business meetings, certain professions, students, close family relationships or other business matters, but do not include tourism.
Even with a dignified purpose, US residents who are not fully vaccinated will be tested and isolated on arrival, with the exception of those who can document a previous Covid-19 infection.
From September 4, vaccinated American travelers must be quarantined for 10 days, but can shorten the isolation period if they test negative for coronavirus on day five. Children 12 and younger are excluded, according to the Dutch government’s website.
From September 6, the country will also require US travelers to show a negative test result to enter.
The new restrictions do not apply to the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, according to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As of September 6, the Swedish government adopted amendments to the temporary ban on entry into Sweden. The amendments apply to the exemption for residents of certain designated countries outside the EU and are in line with the European Council’s latest recommendation to EU Member States. The latest decision to extend the ban means that the entry ban now applies until 31 October 2021.
The entry ban means that a foreign citizen traveling to Sweden from a state other than an EEA state or Switzerland will be denied entry into Sweden and rejected. There are a number of exceptions to this – for example, the entry ban does not apply to foreign nationals residing in certain countries. The excluded countries are listed in an annex to the Regulation.
To travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU / EEA, you must be covered by at least one of the exemptions from the entry ban and also be able to present a negative COVID-19 test or be exempt from the test requirement.
The adopted amendment means that residents of the United States, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and northern Macedonia will no longer be exempted from the entry ban simply because they live there.
In the case of foreign nationals traveling to Sweden from the USA, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia from 6 September, only those covered by another exemption from the entry ban may enter Sweden. This may apply to foreign citizens who have a residence permit in Sweden, have particularly urgent needs or are to perform important functions, and who may also present a negative COVID-19 test. The negative COVID-19 test result must not be older than 48 hours. This requirement applies to foreign nationals 18 years and older, with certain exceptions.
Entry from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway is not subject to entry restrictions. Foreign citizens traveling to Sweden from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway will not need to present an EU digital COVID certificate or equivalent.