Covid-19: Bulgaria scraps order on mandatory wearing of masks in public places

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order on May 1 cancelling his earlier order requiring the mandatory wearing of masks or other appropriate face covering in public places.

The May 1 order was issued after a meeting between Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, members of the government and the national operational headquarters against Covid-19, the Health Ministry said.

The new order says that everyone in public places, including parks, streets and at bus stops, is required to comply with physical distancing and all anti-epidemic measures and, if it is essential to be in contact with other people, to wear a mask or other material covering the nose and mouth.

Ananiev first issued an order making the wearing of masks in public places compulsory on March 30. That order was withdrawn on March 31.

On April 11, he issued a new order, making the wearing of masks compulsory while in public places between April 12 and 26. On April 24, Ananiev extended that order to be in effect until May 13, the scheduled end of the State of Emergency against new coronavirus.

At the operational HQ’s morning briefing on May 1, it was announced that it was expected that there would be a gradual easing of restrictive measures, such as the limits on visits to public parks.

As at April 25, about 10 000 people in Bulgaria had been fined for failing to wear a mask or other appropriate facial covering in public places.

At the morning briefing, the operational HQ said that there were 1541 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria.

The death toll is 66 and 276 people have recovered.

There are 317 people in hospital, 40 of them in intensive care. A total of 170 medical personnel have tested positive for new coronavirus, the operational HQ said.

(Archive photo: US Air Force)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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