Covid-19: Bulgaria makes wearing a protective mask in public places compulsory

Written by on March 30, 2020 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Covid-19: Bulgaria makes wearing a protective mask in public places compulsory

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order on March 30 that everyone, when at indoor or outdoor public places, must wear a protective mask, a notice on the Health Ministry website said.

This was one of a number of developments on the afternoon of March 30 related to the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria.

Ananiev announced separately that the 14-day quarantine of Bulgaria’s mountain resort town of Bansko is being lifted as of 7pm on March 31. The ban on leaving and entering the town is lifted, while Bansko must continue to apply all anti-epidemic measures in force nationwide.

The national operational headquarters against Covid-19 said in an update posted online at 5pm that the number of confirmed cases was now 359.

The Sofia District Prosecutor’s Office said that it had laid charges against a person it named as KK, a leader of a political party, for statements that would cause undue alarm in connection with the State of Emergency in force against Covid-19.

Bulgarian media identified the person as Kostadin Kostadinov, leader of the extra-parliamentary Vuzrazhdane party. In a television broadcast, he had described the anti-epidemic measures as “propaganda to divert attention and not in the interest of citizens” and made misleading allegations about the State Reserve. He is out on bail of 20 000 leva.

The Plovdiv District Prosecutor’s Office is supervising three new pre-trial proceedings for breaking quarantine, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

One involves a 47-year-man who returned from Germany and was placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine. On March 22, he was seen smoking a cigarette outside his block of flats, and this was reported to emergency number 112. Police warned him to comply with mandatory quarantine.

On March 20, a 36-year-old who returned from Germany and who was ordered into mandatory quarantine was found by police about 300m from his home in a parked car with another person who was not under quarantine. Police warned him to comply with the health authorities’ instructions.

On March 29, a 61-year-old British citizen, meant to be in quarantine at an address in Plovdiv, was found by police two metres from the entrance of the building, and received a police warning.

So far, seven pre-trial proceedings for breaking quarantine have been conducted under the supervision of the Plovdiv District Prosecutor’s Office.

Following amendments to the law, the punishment for violating an ordinance, rules or measures against the spread or occurrence of an infectious disease in people during an epidemic, pandemic or emergency is up to five years in prison and a fine from 10 000 to 50 000 leva.

The Interior Ministry announced on March 30 that the test of civil defence sirens in Bulgarian cities, for years customarily carried out on April 1, had been cancelled so as not to risk causing concern among the public.

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

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