Covid-19: 25 526 people in Bulgaria fined for not wearing protective mask

A total of 25 526 people in Bulgaria have been fined since March 13 for not wearing a protective mask, while a further 25 000 have been issued with warnings, Interior Minister Hristo Terziyski said in a television interview on December 14.

Two people, one from Plovdiv and one from Rousse, have been imprisoned for three months for breaking quarantine. The person from Plovdiv also was fined 10 000 leva (about 5112 euro). Terziyski said that one of the individuals had 14 previous convictions and the other also had a criminal record.

Since December 1, a total of 1909 retail outlets have been inspected and 19 fines have been issued, five of them in capital city Sofia. The fines were issued because of breaches of rules about physical distancing and other anti-epidemic measures.

Terziyski said that last week, inspectors found a restaurant open with 40 customers inside it, and this past Saturday, three working restaurants, again one with 40 people inside. Current heightened measures in force between November 27 and December 21 close, among other places, restaurants and cafes.

He said that he would be vaccinated against Covid-19, both to set an example and as a matter of personal conviction.

According to Terziyski, a total of 11 202 police had said that they wanted to be vaccinated. He said that this data had been collected rapidly over three hours and would be updated by December 21 when the ministry reported to the national vaccination headquarters. He expected that by then the figure would increase.

He said that crime statistics since the beginning of 2020 showed a decrease in all types of criminal activity, notably theft and fraud. However, reports of domestic violence remained at the same level as in 2019.

In other news in Bulgaria related to the Covid-19 situation:

Bulgarian Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Western and Central Europe Antonii told Bulgarian National Television that during the Christmas holidays, all the church’s houses of worship would remain open.

He called on the public to intensify their prayers in this tense time, but also to observe all anti-epidemic measures.

According to Antonii, those who went to church during the Easter holidays “showed that they could be disciplined and follow the sanitary rules”. He said that regular disinfection was carried out in churches, and the laity were required to wear masks and maintain their distance from each other.

On December 12, Bulgarian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Yoan of Varna said that in the past two months, the infection had affected many of the church’s clergy and laity. Many priests in Sofia and Varna had become infected, and some priests in various dioceses had died. However, Christmas was a “feast of hope,” he said.

Plovdiv municipality said on December 14 that since Sunday night, bus stations in the city had been treated with an innovative German product for long-term disinfection.

“This will not only provide better protection against microorganisms and viruses, including Covid-19, but will also save money for the municipality,” said Dimitar Georgiev, director of the municipal cleaning department.

He said that since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early March until now, municipal cleaning staff had been disinfecting all shelters at bus stops on a daily basis.

The disinfection with the new product will cost 2400 leva a year. It is being carried out by a Plovdiv company that is the exclusive representative in Bulgaria of a German company. It is expected that all bus shelters will be disinfected by the end of the year. The disinfection is done late at night after buses stop running.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that between December 18 and January 7, the quarantine for people arriving in Greece is reduced from 10 to three days.

The requirements to submit a negative PCR test, performed up to 72 hours before the trip, as well as the rapid test done on entering the country, remain in place, the ministry 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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