Covid-19 in Bulgaria, May 13: More re-openings, more cases as State of Emergency ends

Bulgaria’s two-month State of Emergency to contain the spread of Covid-19 ends on May 13.

Two months ago, on March 13, a total of 31 cases had been confirmed by that date, with one death. As of May 13, the number of cases has passed the 2000 mark, with 96 deaths.

On the eve of the final day of the State of Emergency, Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved the second reading of amendments to the Health Act including anti-epidemic measures.

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev signed the decree promulgating the amendments to the Health Act, but his office said that some provisions would be challenged in the Constitutional Court.

The bill contains, alongside specific anti-epidemic provisions, a number measures meant to speed post-pandemic economic recovery. Radev’s statement said that the bill was passed “at the last moment possible and with unclear and contradictory provisions.”

He said that this was evidence of the “lack of a plan by the Council of Ministers.” He also said that he would file his challenge regarding “certain texts that contradict the constitution,” with the motives to be made public “in the coming days.”

The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency said on May 13 that it had shut down three fast-food restaurants for violating anti-epidemic measures.

The agency said that so far it had carried out more than 800 inspections and the process was continuing.

Sofia municipality said that mayor Yordanka Fandukova was allowing the re-opening of Sofia Zoo and Sofia City Library, along with its branches in Serdika, Lyulin and Studentski Grad, to visitors as of May 14.

Visitors to the library may borrow books but may not use the reading rooms.

Sofia Regional History Museum will re-open on May 18 and Sofia City Art Gallery on May 19.

Sofia municipality, together with its partners, will provide 20 outdoor stages for performances and concerts. No more than 30 per cent of seats may be filled and physical distancing must be observed.

The government media service said that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov had agreed that 12th graders could gather for traditional send-offs at their schools.

Borissov agreed to a request from 12th graders who petitioned him on the issue. School-leaving prom balls will not be allowed.

Chief Mufti Mustafa Hadji has given permission for the re-opening of mosques on May 15.

Mosques have been closed since mid-March. With the re-opening, several anti-epidemic measures must be taken, including disinfection before opening and after Friday prayers.

Those entering must wear masks and inside, physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be kept.

The concessionaire of the Bansko ski area Ulen, Bansko municipality, the Alliance for Promotion and Development of Tourism in Bansko and various hoteliers hae decided to provide a free weekend to all medics in Bulgaria who fight on the front line against Covid-19, a media statement said.

The holiday package is for the next winter season and includes accommodation in hotels, food, ski passes and in case needed a ski instructor and ski equipment rental.

“Through this initiative we want to show our gratitude to the doctors, nurses, ambulance and volunteers for their commitment and courage. We are proud to support the medics who have been working now for more than two months without a break. We want to welcome them as our special guests,” said Ivan Obreykov, marketing director of Ulen.

Please support The Sofia Globe through our Patreon page

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

Section supported by the Embassy of Switzerland



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.