Covid-19: Bulgaria publishes order making wearing masks outdoors compulsory

Bulgaria’s Health Ministry has published the order that makes wearing protective masks while outdoors mandatory for everyone starting on October 22.

The measures listed in the order will apply until November 30, which is the current end date of the epidemic situation declared by the country’s Cabinet.

People are required to wear masks when “in outdoor public spaces where there are people congregating and there is no possibility to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres,” the order said.

The mask-wearing mandate remains in place for indoor places, such as public transportation and stops, hospitals and other medical facilities, administrative buildings, shopping establishments and places of worship.

The order lists a number of exceptions to those rules: customers in restaurants and bars, people exercising indoors or outdoors, people speaking at news conferences, seminars or lectures (but only when speaking and provided the 1.5 metres distance is kept), participants in television broadcasts (with social distancing in place), as well as children aged under six.

The social distancing measure requiring people who are not members of the same household to keep at least 1.5 metres apart whenever in open public spaces is also in effect.

In addition to making masks compulsory outdoors, the order requires all employers to provide masks for their employees, regularly air and disinfect workspaces and ensure, where possible, that people keep at least 1.5m apart. Similarly, distance work is encouraged if possible.

Shops are required to inform customers of the measures in effect, provide disinfectant at the entrance and organise their activity so as to limit the number of people entering the site, as well as ensure that all people wear masks.

(Archive photo: Bulgaria’s Customs Agency)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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