Covid-19: Many motorists try to leave Bulgaria’s capital city in spite of ban – report

Many motorists tried to use the 6am – 8am window on April 18 to leave Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

A ban on exiting and entering Sofia is in force as a measure against the spread of Covid-19. There are some exemptions for essential services, while twice daily there is a window for people travelling for work reasons.

Bulgarian National Radio said that those attempting to travel included people who said that they wanted to go to villages in the Sofia district.

However, the cars were massively turned back by police at the Sofia checkpoints, the report said.

The penalty for false information on a declaration submitted at a checkpoint for travel is prison for up to three years and a fine of 100 to 300 leva (about 50 to 150 euro).

Anton Zlatanov, deputy head of the Sofia regional directorate of the Interior Ministry, said that every declaration would be checked and anyone who has submitted false information will be prosecuted.

The most intense traffic is expected on April 20, the last day of the Easter 2020 four-day public holiday, as people seek to enter Sofia.

Those who have lied about leaving the Bulgarian capital city for work and who do not have an official address registration in Sofia may not be allowed to enter the city.

Bulgarian media reports said that as of the late morning on Saturday, the situation at the checkpoints controlling travel in and out of the country’s 27 district capitals was calm.

On the morning of April 18, the national operational headquarters said that 40 new cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 865.

Forty-one people have died and 153 have recovered.

Of the new confirmed cases, two were children – a two-month-old baby in Bourgas and a nine-year-old child in the village of Panicherevo.

Thirteen cases have been confirmed in Panicherevo, which is currently under quarantine after a Covid-19 patient escaped hospital and went to the village.

A total of 244 patients, 34 of them in intensive care, are in hospital, the operational HQ said.

There have been nine new cases among medical personnel, bringing the total to 69. Of the new cases among medical personnel, two are in Sofia, three in Vidin, three in Haskovo and one in Bourgas.

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(Archive photo: Bulgaria Interior Ministry press centre)



The Sofia Globe staff

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