Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved on March 18 the first reading of the Emergency Measures Bill, aimed at containing the further spread of Covid-19.
The bill provides for restrictions and prohibitions on attending public events, all kinds of mass events and sanctions for non-compliance with quarantine and the dissemination of fake news. Other measures include extending by six months the validity of expiring identification documents and driving licences.
Parliament will debate and vote on the second reading of the bill on March 20.
MPs rejected a proposal by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party for a moratorium on the deadline for payment of household bills within one month after the lifting of the state of emergency.
There were a number of other developments on March 18 related to the coronavirus situation in Bulgaria.
Four municipalities so far have introduced curfews as a measure against Covid-19: Nova Zagora, Kozloduy, Devin and Belitsa.
Belitsa municipality target Radoslav Revanski decreed a curfew, and quarantine for all residents of the municipality who worked in the Bansko resort.
Mayor of Pernik Stanislav Vladimirov has issued an order banning gatherings of more than two adults, as well as children, at all open and closed public places, sports and fitness recreational areas, and playgrounds in the municipality.
On March 19, a total of 26 departing flights and 25 arriving flights at Sofia Airport have been cancelled. Further details are available in English on the airport’s website.
Health Minister Kiril Ananiev told a March 18 meeting held at the Presidency that within two weeks at most, Bulgaria would be supplied with sufficient protective equipment to meet the needs of medical staff. He said that the ministry’s fundraising campaign to buy medical equipment had raised 18 000 leva in a single day.
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(Photo: Bulgarian Armed Forces)