Bulgaria’s Government decided on January 26 to extend the Covid-19 epidemic declaration that has been in place since May 2020, which would have expired on January 31, until the end of April.
The Cabinet announcement did not say whether the current restrictions meant to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, put in place in November last year and set to expire on January 31 as well, would be extended past that date.
But Prime Minister Boiko Borissov asked Health Minister Kostadin Angelov to publish an order that would give a timetable for easing those restrictions, the statement said, without mentioning a deadline for such an order.
In recent weeks, health and education officials have discussed a phased return of pupils and students to classrooms in February, but a final decision is yet to be made.
This has prompted demands in the past several days from the retail and hospitality sectors to be allowed to resume operations.
The Cabinet statement sought to rebuff criticism that the government fell short in its efforts to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, saying that total spending on aid to businesses was nearly two billion leva, including one billion leva in wage support schemes from the Labour Ministry, which helped preserve an estimated 300 000 jobs.
Bulgaria declared a State of Emergency on March 13 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This continued until May 13 2020, when it was succeeded by an epidemic declaration, which has been extended repeatedly.
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