Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Tourism Ministry posts rules for hotels and catering establishments

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Tourism has published on its website a draft of detailed instructions for the operation of accommodation and catering and entertainment establishments following the lifting on May 13 of the State of Emergency.

The instructions have been approved by Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova and by the Ministry of Health, the Tourism Ministry said.

The document is based on instructions from the Ministry of Health in line with the rules of the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the ministry said.

The measures govern places of accommodation, restaurants and entertainment places adjacent to them or stand-alone, which have open areas such as terraces and gardens.

In general, physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people must be kept, the statement said.

Disinfectant dispensers must be installed, accessible to guests and staff in the various rooms, and in particular at the entrances, the reception area, the entrance to the lifts, the entrance to the outdoor dining and entertainment areas and the entrance to the bathrooms and the outdoor pool.

In the lobby, the seating areas must be at least 1.5m apart. Grouping of guests in the lobby is not allowed. They will have to maintain physical distancing when checking in or out. The use of the lifts must be limited to a minimum number of people.

Catering for guests must be only in the open-air parts of the restaurants.

It is permissible to use a buffet, but only if the food is arranged behind a transparent partition and it is provided by an employee wearing a mask and gloves. Self-service and direct contact of guests with food is not allowed, the Tourism Ministry said.

Tables must be arranged to provide a distance of not less than 1.5 m between them and for not more than four people per table.

According to the instructions, the use of swimming pools as separate sites is allowed, but not spa facilities.

The staff servicing the pool must observe the rules on safety and physical distancing between the visitors and provide a stationary disinfection dispenser in the area around the pool.

At spa centres, only the pools may be open. The Minister of Health may change this rule depending on the epidemic situation, the statement said.

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