May 19, 2020 / 2:36 PM / 11 days ago

Bulgaria agrees to ease travel with Greece, Serbia as of June 1

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria said on Tuesday it had agreed with neighbouring Greece and Serbia to ease some travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus from June 1.

Bulgaria has closed its borders to most travellers since mid-March as part of its lockdown measures. Diplomats, seasonal workers and returning Bulgarian nationals are still admitted but currently have to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The European Union member state has started to ease its lockdown as the number of new infections has decreased. It reported 24 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 2,259 cases, including 112 deaths, a relatively low number in Europe.

“We have agreed with Greece as of June 1 to allow travel without the obligatory 14-day quarantine for people who travel for business, family or humanitarian reasons,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told reporters.

Similar arrangements have been agreed with Serbia, said Borissov, who spoke after taking part in a virtual conference call with the leaders of Greece, Serbia and Romania.

Borissov said he hoped Romania’s parliament would also soon join the regional initiative to ease border restrictions.

Travellers will have to sign a declaration at the border that they do not have any coronavirus symptoms and are travelling at their own risk, Borissov said.

Bulgaria is holding talks with Austria and Germany too to ease travel restrictions, he added.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Gareth Jones

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