Bulgaria’s PM says considering allowing restaurants to fully open as of June 1

Bulgaria’s government is considering allowing restaurants to fully re-open as of June 1, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on May 19.

Restaurants, bars and coffee shops were closed in mid-March when the National Assembly voted a State of Emergency to counter Covid-19.

Partial re-opening was allowed as of May 5, but only the open-air parts of restaurants, coffee shops and bars, with 1.5 metres between tables and staff required to wear masks and disinfectant tables and chairs after each visit by customers.

Shopping malls have been allowed to re-open as of May 18, but restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops in them remain closed, unless they have outdoor sections.

Borissov noted that Greece was to allow restaurants to re-open as of June 15.

Borissov was speaking after a video conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Romanian PM Ludovic Orban.

The Bulgarian PM said that it had been agreed that as of June 1, mutual travel with Greece and with Serbia was to be allowed with the 14-day quarantine requirement falling away.

This would cover all kinds of travel – for business, family ties, diplomatic and transport. Borissov said that he hoped that the Romanian government would make a similar decision in line with that of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia.

Borissov said that those crossing the borders would have to submit a declaration, with their full names, and saying that they had no symptoms, were not under quarantine, were aware of the epidemic situation in the respective country and were travelling at their own risk.

Transport Minister Rossen Zhelyazkov said that as of May 25, the quarantine for all Bulgarian lorry drivers entering the country, as well as bus drivers, was being lifted.

Borissov said that Bulgaria was currently in active dialogue with Austria and Germany about easing travel restrictions.

There are many factories in Bulgaria that have ordered machines and engineers must come to install them. Bulgaria is also the most popular destination for tourism in Germany, Borissov said.

“The most important thing now is to get out of the recession that the coronavirus has brought us. The most important thing at the moment is for every job, every lev, euro, dollar to be brought to the country and for people to work and receive a salary,” Borissov said.

(Archive photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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