Bulgaria has banned British travelers from entering the country due to concerns about the growing number of cases of coronavirus in the UK.
The ban will take effect on Monday – the same day Bulgaria moves to the UK’s green travel list, meaning quarantine – free travel for passengers arriving in the UK from Bulgaria.
The south-eastern European nation has put Britain on its high-risk list of “red zones” along with Cyprus, Spain, Fiji and Kuwait, confirmed Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov.
This will mean that only Bulgarian nationals, long-term residents and their immediate family members are eligible to enter the country from the UK.
Previously, the UK had been in Bulgaria’s yellow zone, meaning travelers were welcome if they were fully vaccinated, had recovered from the virus or had a recent negative PCR test.
It comes as Britain reported more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24-hour period, the highest number since mid-January.
Aviation analyst Alex Macheras suggested that Bulgaria may be the first of many countries to deny British travelers access as coronavirus rates continue to rise.
He said: “Most countries around the world implement travel bans against other countries based on COVID-19 figures, prices or variants.
“While (health secretary) Sajid Javid can be familiar with 100,000+ daily COVID-19 delta (variant) cases, other countries will not be so understanding. “