Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Proposal for mandatory mask-wearing by 5th to 12th graders

A proposal will be made that the wearing of protective masks in class by fifth to 12th-grade pupils be mandatory, Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev told a Cabinet meeting on November 18.

A government statement quoted Vulchev as saying that so far Bulgaria has had “the most liberal regime” compared to other European countries in terms of mask-wearing by school pupils.

Vulchev said that the reason to make mask-wearing in class compulsory was to protect teachers, on the one hand, and pupils, on the other.

“If we help 3000 of the average 30 000 children who get the flu get sick less, that in itself will be a success. Otherwise, the imposition of any obligation, of course, meets with negative opinions,” he said.

In an interview with Bulgarian National Television on November 18, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said that he supported the proposal for pupils to wear masks in classrooms, but the final decision would be made by experts at the Health Ministry.

“It is rational from the point of view of stopping the infection, greater security for the children and their return to the classrooms,” Angelov said.

At the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov ordered the continuation of the application of flexible methods of teaching pupils, the government statement said.

Borissov believes that local decision-making remains the most appropriate approach in the current situation, the statement said.

“This method is correct – where there are no infections, children should learn. Other places – monitor the number of patients so that we spare the teachers and use the parents in making decisions, because it concerns their children,” Borissov said.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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