Covid-19 in Bulgaria: 10 000 fined for not wearing masks in public

About 15 000 fines have been issued in Bulgaria for violating anti-epidemic measures, around 10 000 of them for failing to wear protective masks or another suitable face covering in public, the country’s Interior Ministry chief secretary Ivailo Ivanov said in an April 25 television interview.

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev’s order that masks or another suitable face covering must be worn when in public places came into effect on April 12, and on April 24 was extended until May 13 – the currently scheduled end date for Bulgaria’s State of Emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Ivanov said that on April 24 alone, police collected 35 000 declarations from people at intercity travel checkpoints in Sofia.

More than 2300 cars and 3800 people had been turned back at the checkpoints, he told bTV.

Those who travelled without a legitimate reason were irresponsible, Ivanov said.

To date, about 1100 pre-trial proceedings had been started against people who lied on their declarations about their reasons for leaving Sofia during the holidays.

Several days ago, it emerged that a random check of declarations had found false claims on them – including by people who said that they were travelling for work reasons, while the check established that they were registered at the labour bureau as unemployed.

This led to an order that all declarations must be checked. Currently, those who say that they are travelling for work reasons must give a work address and a contact telephone number of the employer.

Ivanov said that so far, 17 717 declarations had been checked.

Of these, it had been established that 788 of those who had stated work reasons did not have employment contracts. In 159 cases, those who had submitted such a declaration were registered as unemployed. Those who had submitted false declarations would be fined, Ivanov said.

(Photo: Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry press centre)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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