Bulgarian truck drivers are protesting at the border crossing over harsh traffic conditions. Bulgarian Transport Minister Gheorghi Todorov said that he will reach out to the Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, for assistance in faster processing traffic entering Romania. There are complaints that truck drivers have to wait up to 30 hours to cross the Border Checkpoint, writes Cristian Gherasim, Bucharest correspondent.
Currently, there is no official information regarding why truck drivers have to wait 30 hours to cross an internal border of the European Union, a press release of the Chamber of Road Transporters shows.
There are several reasons for the increase of traffic at the Romanian Bulgarian border. As an internal EU border, the crossing should just a few minutes, but the border authorities carry out thorough checks due to increased immigration. This increases the time for checking a truck, border guards told the press. Each truck is checked with a carbon dioxide detector. If the amount of CO2 detected is too large, the vehicle is searched to see if there are any immigrants hiding illegally in trucks while drivers are resting.
According to Bulgarian transport authorities another reason for the increased traffic is the return of workers to Western Europe and in addition to that, Albanians take a detour through Bulgaria in order to avoid crossing Serbia which has increased road taxes greatly in the last month.
Also Bulgaria entered the yellow zone of countries with a high epidemiological risk of coronavirus transmission and all those who come from this state are quarantined if they are not vaccinated or if they do not have a negative PCR test. Thus Romanians vacationing in Bulgaria tried to make their way back to their home country before new restrictions were enforced as to avoid quarantine.
In the last few days of August approximately 1.2 million people and over 300,000 vehicles crossed the border.
Even the entry point into Bulgaria from Romania was not without issues. Many tourists were taken by surprise. With waiting queues stretching for over 5 km, vacation goers into Bulgaria were caught off guard.
Romanians can enter Bulgaria after showing the EU digital COVID certificate, proof of vaccination, testing or a similar document containing the same data as the EU COVID digital certificate.
Among the special categories of persons exempted from the requirement to present COVID documents upon entry into the Republic of Bulgaria are persons transiting Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has lately seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and new restrictions have been introduced. Bulgarian restaurants and bars will close at 22:00 local time starting September 7th, while indoor sports competitions will take place without spectators. Music festivals will be banned and theaters and cinemas will operate at a maximum of 50% capacity.
Bulgaria has the lowest rate of COVID-19 vaccination in the European Union, with Romania following suit.