The Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA) has written to Prime Minister Boiko Borissov saying that it understands the need for measures against Covid-19 that require the closure of their businesses and much of the country for at least three weeks, but wants to know what measures the government envisages to compensate workers, businesses and in particular the tourism industry.
BHRA was reacting to the November 23 announcement by Health Minister Kostadin Angelov of the tougher measures he is proposing to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
“As we have repeatedly stated in our public statements and in a series of letters to you and the Cabinet ministers, the health of our guests and employees is most important to us,” BHRA said.
“We agree that a number of European countries and countries around the world have taken similar measures to stop the spread of the virus. In each of them, however, in addition to the physical survival of citizens and society, the economic surival was also considered.”
It said that in recent months, it had sent a number of letters and proposals to the Cabinet about measures to enable the restaurant industry’s businesses to survive and so that the budget would not be burdened with the additional costs of tens of thousands of employees about to lose their livelihoods.
“Unfortunately, we have not been heard and have not been invited to the negotiating table, but instead we received only indirect promises that work is being done and more measures will be provided to support the sector,” BHRA said.
“We hope and insist that we hear during the discussion of the new measures, which are planned to enter into force on November 27, before their vote in the Cabinet, what measures you have envisaged to compensate workers, businesses and in particular tourism,” it said.
The Bulgarian Medical Association (BMA) reacted to Angelov’s announcement by saying that it fully supported the new restrictive measures.
“The suspension of restaurants, discos, malls, the cessation of sporting events, seminars, excursions, competitions, congresses and all other measures are entirely to the benefit of Bulgarian society and will allow us doctors and the health system to take a breather,” the BMA said.
This was the only way in which the chain of infection, which had grown seriously in recent weeks and taken hundreds of lives, could be broken, the association 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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