Bulgaria lifts travel restrictions for Romanians in bid to boost tourism

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Bulgaria is open to Romanian tourists for the rest of the summer season, regardless of the number of new Covid-19 cases, a tour operator said Wednesday.

Bulgaria is a popular tourist destination for thousands of Romanians with its Black Sea resorts and mountains.

However, the pandemic has disrupted vacations, due to the virus and confusion over the changing rules.

One tour operator however said that Romanians now only need a valid travel document to enter Bulgaria. There is no test or vaccination requirement.

“ The good news is that Romanian tourists only need to show (travel papers) regardless of the epidemiological situation,” Travel Planner tour operator said in a statement carried by  Agerpres. Covid cases have risen in the past week in Romania with 159 new infections reported on Wednesday.

“Romania is the only country an exception is being made for,” the statement said. Bookings have doubled this year compared to 2020 at the start of the pandemic, the operator said.

Tourism is a mainstay of the Bulgarian economy, the likely reason restrictions are being lifted.

Bulgarian resorts and hotels are currently almost fully booked. However, there are vacancies after mid-August.

“People were reluctant to reserve holidays for the end of August or September, because of the possibility of new restrictions. Now Bulgarian authorities have decided in a timely fashion to eliminate all restrictions.”

Sebastian Constantinescu, the general manager of Travel Planner, said September was an option as the weather would be  “very good.”

In Greece, another top vacation spot for Romanians, Covid-19 infections have risen sharply. Greek authorities have tightened restrictions for unvaccinated tourists and residents who are banned from indoor dining.

Amid the uncertainty, some Romanians have opted for staycations.

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