Covid-19: Bulgaria brings back mandatory wearing of masks in indoor public places

Bulgaria is again making it mandatory to wear protective masks in indoor public places, while control of observance of anti-epidemic measures is being strengthened, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev told a briefing on June 22.

By the end of the week, a decision will be made whether to extend the Covid-19 epidemic declaration, currently scheduled to end on June 30, beyond that date.

Ananiev had said two days earlier that “for the time being” the epidemic declaration would not be extended.

The June 22 announcement of amended rules and strengthened control came after several days of rising newly-confirmed cases of new coronavirus in Bulgaria, and the number of active cases having risen by 626 between June 7 and 22, to a total of 1632.

Ananiev, flanked by members of the operational headquarters, gave the briefing after an urgent meeting on Monday morning with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.

The Health Minister said that the number of carriers of new coronavirus had increased, while most Bulgarians were not complying with discipline in implementing the anti-epidemic measures and recommendations.

As of midnight, a number of measures change.

At all indoor events, no more than 50 per cent of the capacity may be filled.

Wearing of masks and facial shields will be mandatory in cinemas, theatres, night clubs and at sports events in indoor public places.

In shops and malls, physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be maintained and shop staff must wear masks.

Check-ups that people are wearing masks in public transport, hospitals and pharmacies are being strengthened.

At football matches, up to 1000 people per sector will be allowed, observing physical distancing. For other sporting events, the occupancy rate may be up to 50 per cent, with spectators sitting one seat apart, and where there are no seats, they must maintain a distance of 1.5m between them.

Bulgaria’s Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev said that two political parties – Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB and the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party – would be fined for holding gatherings without complying with measures.

At the earlier talks with Borissov, the Prime Minister once again pointed out that the danger of Covid-19 has not passed and that physical distancing, discipline and strict disinfection are still of the utmost importance for the fight against the coronavirus, a government media statement said.

The Health Ministry, quoting data from the national information system, said that in the past 24 hours, a total of 566 samples had been tested and 33 had proven positive.

To date, there are a total of 3905 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria, counting in those that are active and the death toll.

A total of 2074 people have recovered, 47 of them in the past 24 hours.

There are 322 patients in hospital, 13 in intensive care.

The number of medical personnel remains unchanged in the past 24 hours at 343, while the death toll remains unchanged at 199.

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

Become a Patron!



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.