Covid-19: Bulgarian MPs to debate bill extending anti-epidemic measures on May 8

Written by on May 5, 2020 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Covid-19: Bulgarian MPs to debate bill extending anti-epidemic measures on May 8

Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva scheduled for May 8 a special sitting of the National Assembly, at which MPs will debate at first reading a bill amending the Health Act, meant to extend anti-epidemic measures currently in effect past the May 13 expiration of the State of Emergency.

Approved by the Cabinet on May 4, the bill was formally tabled in Parliament on May 5. It was scheduled to be discussed by the legal affairs committee of the National Assembly on May 7.

The main body of the bill contains amendments to two articles in the Health Act, which give the Health Minister the power to declare an epidemic emergency and impose temporary anti-epidemic restrictions, including isolation or quarantine of infected people.

Such measures could be imposed throughout the country or parts of it, at the proposal of the chief state health inspector or directors of regional health inspectorates.

The transitional and final provisions of the bill contained a number of amendments to other laws, meant to “clearly define the duration of social-economic, financial and health measures to overcome the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Cabinet said in the motives accompanying the bill.

Among those were changes to the Foreigners Act that would allow a foreign national with a Bulgarian residence permit expiring within three months of the end of the State of Emergency to enter the country without a visa in the first three months after the end of the State of Emergency.

Additionally, foreigners whose long-term residence permits were due to expire in the three months after the end of the State of Emergency would not have their resident status interrupted as long as they filed applications to renew their permits within three months of the State of Emergency being lifted.

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