Coronavirus in Bulgaria: Updates, information, advice

We understand that the time may be stressful for you and your family, so the team of Inter HECS would like to quickly update you about coronavirus in Bulgaria. Keep in mind that the situation is changing rapidly, so this is why we advise you to follow our Instagram and Facebook page, where we publish daily updates. 

Please keep in mind that the deadlines, exam dates and application procedure for future students are not affected. We will inform you if they are.

1. Measures by the government
As of 17 March 2020, there are 81 confirmed coronavirus cases in Bulgaria. The government has declared State of Emergency and has temporarily closed restaurants, gyms, schools, etc. Supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open.

Starting from 18 March, people coming from high risk countries (e.g. UK, Germany, Italy, India, etc.) will be refused entry in Bulgaria until further notice, unless they have a residence permit in Bulgaria. Keep in mind the situation is changing every day, so the restrictions may change. The official regulation is published on the website of the Ministry of Health.

2. Information online 
It is important to rely only on trustworthy information and news. Please avoid rumors and articles that spread panic. Updates about the universities in Bulgaria (e.g. when you will have to attend lectures) are usually shared on the university website, so make sure to check it regularly.
As for travel restrictions, rely strictly on information officially published by the government. You can also contact your Embassy for travel advice.

3. Flying back home
We understand that the time may be stressful for you and you would like to be with your family. When it comes to flying back home, we advise you to discuss this carefully with the respective Embassy as they will be able to advise you on restrictions, if any, which may apply when you want to travel back to Bulgaria.

Please keep in mind that people coming to Bulgaria from abroad are obliged to stay in quarantine for 14 days. This is to be done at home/where they stay in Bulgaria (if the person has no symptoms) or in a hospital (if the person is ill). They will be given forms upon arrival with more information. This means you can be fined or even sent to prison for up to 5 years in case you do not follow this rule. Keep in mind that this rule may be changed as well (e.g. you may have to stay longer in quarantine) - it depends on how the virus spreads and what the government decides to take as a prevention measure. 

4. Patience
As mentioned, the situation around the world is changing very quickly, so please be patient with university and embassy staff, people working in the field, etc. All institutions in Bulgaria are currently overwhelmed by work, messages and phone calls.

5. Volunteer work
Some hospitals are looking for volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact a representative of the respective hospital you wish to volunteer at. If you do volunteer, make sure to strictly follow all rules for prevention and protection from the virus.

6. Reach out to your friends in Bulgaria
If you would like to inform someone in Bulgaria that you are out of the country/the university is closed (e.g. your landlord/patients/etc.), please contact our team and we will write a message for you in Bulgarian language which you can forward.

7. Reach out to other people
Do ask elderly people (e.g. your patients at the university, neighbors or people you meet) if you can help them somehow (e.g. with the groceries). The situation is very stressful for them, so they need support.

8. Prevention
Follow the rules for prevention of spreading the virus. Make sure to avoid crowded places (e.g. airports). We advise you to follow the guidelines by the WHO.

If you experience any symptoms of the virus, please call your GP immediately.

Of course, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any news or if you have any questions. 

Stay safe!

The team of Inter HECS

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