March 25, 2020 / 2:44 PM / 6 days ago

Bulgaria bans entry of trucks en route to Turkey

SOFIA, March 25 (Reuters) - Bulgaria has imposed a temporary entry ban on trucks from more than 65 countries that plan to pass through the Balkan state en route to Turkey, the health ministry said on Wednesday, after Turkey imposed stringent coronavirus restrictions on truck drivers.

A 45 km long line of trucks has already built up at the Bulgarian-Turkish main border checkpoint of Kapitan Andreevo after Turkey banned entry of truck drivers coming from countries with large coronavirus outbreaks.

Many of the drivers, who have to wait more than 72 hours to cross the border into Turkey, do not have protective masks or disinfectants, local Bulgarian media reported.

Bulgarian authorities have installed chemical toilets at parking lots along the line of trucks. Volunteers from the Bulgarian Red Cross have started to distribute food and water to the stranded truck drivers.

Bulgaria’s truck ban includes vehicles coming from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Poland among many more countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. It did not provide a timeframe for the ban. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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