Bulgaria will start requiring travelers from nearby North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Israel to provide negative PCR coronavirus tests on top of valid COVID-19 certificates before entering the country beginning on January 20.
The new obligation was announced by the Health Ministry in Bulgaria.
It essentially reverses previous exceptions for travelers from those countries, and places them under similar requirements already in place for entrants from all EU member states except neighboring Romania.
Bulgaria is already among the worst-affected and least-vaccinated countries from COVID-19, and is bracing for a surge from the highly contagious omicron variant.
Last week, Bulgaria recorded its highest daily coronavirus infection rate since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.
As of January 16, it had a seven-day rolling average of 5,741 new infections per day, in a country of around 7 million people.