Covid-19: Bulgaria eases rules on night clubs, gatherings such as weddings

In yet another turnaround, Bulgaria’s Health Ministry said on July 12 that it was easing the Covid-19 restriction rules on night clubs and gatherings such as weddings and baptism – a move that followed lobbying by hospitality industry representatives.

The change was announced just three days after, against a background of rising numbers of new coronavirus cases, Bulgaria’s Health Ministry ordered the indoor sections of night clubs, night bars and discos closed, and put a 30-person limit on gatherings.

A statement on the Health Ministry website said that as of July 13, visits to both indoor and outdoor sections of discos, piano bars, night bars and clubs are allowed provided that there is no more than one person per square metre and in compliance with anti-epidemic requirements agreed with industry associations.

The decision was reached after a meeting between minister Kiril Ananiev and representatives of the Bulgarian Association of Restaurants and the Association of Restaurants in Bulgaria.

The same order issued by Ananiev on July 12 allows group celebrations indoors and outdoors, including weddings, balls, baptisms and so, subject to physical distancing of 1.5m “and all anti-epidemic measures,” the statement said.

The Health Minister and the representatives of the hospitality industry organisations agreed on a dialogue on each subsequent change of the anti-epidemic measures concerning the sector, it said.

The rule announced, of one person per square metre, is notably less than the European standard of 2.5m, event organisation experts commented.

“Our restaurants are not a breeding ground for the disease,” according to Richard Alibegov, chairman of the Association of Restaurateurs.

“The only industry that is closed is that of nightclubs. Eighty thousand people in the industry have lost their jobs. We are the sector that is inspected daily. It was not right because of some restaurants in several cities to close down the whole industry,” he said.

(Photo: Israel Jiménez/

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The Sofia Globe staff

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