Bulgaria’s Covid-19 epidemic: Health Minister issues rules

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev has issued four orders to be in force during the epidemic situation in the country, decreed by the government to be in effect until June 14.

The temporary ban ordered during the State of Emergency on the entry to Bulgaria of foreigners remains in force, while Bulgarians returning to the country must be placed in 14-day quarantine. The restriction does not apply to the entry into Bulgaria of non-EU nationals who have permanent or long-term residence or who are family members of Bulgarian citizens.

The ban does not apply to medical personnel, social workers, transport staff and foreign officials.

Cross-border workers will be allowed to enter the country, and must submit a declaration that they have not had symptoms of Covid-19 in the past 14 days and have an employment contract with an employer, or a confirmation letter from an employer.

Employees delivering medical supplies, medicines or protective equipment must also submit a declaration, but also must have tested negative in the past three days before arriving in Bulgaria.

Public parks and gardens are now open to all, but sitting on benches remains banned. Municipal mayors must announce rules for visits to specific parks.

The ban on visits to entertainment and gaming halls, discos and bars, indoor areas of restaurants and entertainment venues, and shopping malls remains in place until June 14, with the exception for financial institutions, grocery stores, pharmacies and drugstores in shopping malls.

The buildings of schools, universities and kindergartens remain closed.

Academic conferences and symposia, meaning those attended in person by large groups of people, remain banned.

Visits to museums, galleries, libraries and cinemas are allowed, but only up to 30 per cent of their capacity may be filled.

Any organised gatherings of groups of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Indoor sports and children’s playgrounds remain closed.

Nursing homes remain closed to visitors.

Grocery stores and pharmacies remain closed to people younger than 60 between 8.30am and 10.30am.

Employers should, where possible, enable employees to work from home. When this is not possible, there must be disinfection of the workplace, physical distancing of 1.5 metres and people with symptoms of acute respiratory diseases must not be admitted to the workplace. Personal protective equipment should be supplied to staff.

The wearing of a mask or other appropriate face covering remains mandatory in indoor public places, including supermarkets, and people not from the same family should remain 1.5 metres from each other while outdoors.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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