As of April 27, ten of the largest parks in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia will be open for use by children accompanied by their parents, pregnant women, people exercising by themselves and owners of pets, mayor Yordanka Fandukova said.
Visitors will be restricted to certain routes in the parks.
Parents with children up to the age of 12 may use the parks between 9.30am and 6.30pm and people exercising or taking their dogs for a walk up to 9.30am or after 6.30pm.
Visitors to the parks must wear protective masks and maintain physical distancing of 2.5 metres from other families.
The parks being opened are Borissova Gradina, Borissova Gradina Forest Park, South Park, the park at the National Palace of Culture, Geo Milev park, West Park, North Park, Zaimov Park, Studentski Park, Druzhba Park, while the park at NDK II is solely for the use of people walking their dogs.
Parks may be entered only from the main entrances and side entrances are closed.
Visitors must avoid touching surfaces and should use disinfectants and gloves.
Dogs must be kept on a lead.
On the prohibited list are gatherings of children and adults from different families, the use of children’s and sports facilities and sand pits, children’s group games, sitting on the benches or grass or having a picnic, and alcohol use in the park, Fandukova said.
No one should visit the park if having symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
“If you see that there are many people in the park, do not enter,” Fandukova said.
She recommended that no one stays in the park for more than two hours.
Visitors should dispose of their refuse in containers outside the park.
“After going for a walk, wash your hands and clean your clothes,” she said.
Keeping order in the parks will be done by 40 municipal staff, volunteers from Sofia municipality, teams from the municipal police and Interior Ministry, together with bicycle patrols, horse patrols and security companies.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that on April 26, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev would issue an order amending the previous restrictions regarding public parks and gardens, and it would be up to mayors of municipalities to announce decisions on allowing visits.
(Main photo: Adelina Angelova, via Fandukova’s Facebook page)
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