Prosecutor’s Office: Most quarantine-breakers are Bulgarians who have returned from abroad

Most of the violations of quarantine in Bulgaria are by citizens who, after returning to the country, are forbidden to leave their homes for 14 days, a statement by the Prosecutor’s Office on March 23 said.

The Prosecutor’s Office based this conclusion on an analysis for the past week of the five appellate divisions – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas and Veliko Turnovo, the statement said.

Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, head of the national crisis staff against new coronavirus, told a morning briefing on March 23 that over the past two weeks, about 200 000 Bulgarians had returned to the country from abroad. In the past 24 hours alone, about 15 000 had arrived by air and 8000 by land.

The Prosecutor’s Office said that it had initiated more than 120 pre-trial proceedings under Article 355 of the Criminal Code for violating mandatory quarantine, part of the measures being taken by Bulgaria against the spread of Covid-19 new coronavirus.

It gave the example of a resident of the Bourgas neighbourhood of Zornitsa, who on her return from Italy to Bulgaria, violated the mandatory quarantine and, along with her two children, visited her sister because they had “not seen each other for years”.

In another case, registered prior to the introduction of restrictions allowing only urgent journeys between regional centres, it was found that a resident of Isperih who had returned from the Netherlands was not at the specified address to which he was quarantined for a period from 14 days. In a telephone call, the person said that he was at his property near the town of Teteven and intended to travel again to the Netherlands. Prosecutors issued a nationwide search warrant for him.

Some of the pre-trial proceedings instituted for violating anti-epidemiological measures are against heavy-duty lorry drivers who, on their return to Bulgaria, do not comply with the imposed quarantine, but again leave for abroad.

Further, the Prosecutor’s Office said that it had initiated pre-trial proceedings for spreading false information or false alarms.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.



The Sofia Globe staff

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