COVID-19: Bulgaria bans British travellers from same day it moves to UK's green travel list

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Bulgaria has banned UK travellers from entering the country due to concerns about the growing number of coronavirus cases in Britain.

The ban comes into force 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 southeast European nation has put the UK on its high risk "red zone list" along with Cyprus, Spain, Fiji and Kuwait, health minister Stoycho Katsarov confirmed.

It will mean that only Bulgarian citizens, long-term residents and their immediate family members will be eligible to enter the country from the UK.

Previously, the UK had been in Bulgaria's amber zone, meaning travellers were welcome if they were fully-vaccinated, had recovered from the virus, or had a recent negative PCR test.

It comes as the UK reported more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour period, the highest number since mid-January.

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras indicated that Bulgaria may be the first of many countries to refuse entry to British travellers as coronavirus rate continue to rise.

He said: "Most countries around the world implement travel bans on other countries based on COVID-19 numbers, rates or variants.

"While (health secretary) Sajid Javid may be comfortable with 100,000+ daily COVID-19 delta (variant) cases, other countries will not be so understanding."