Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Police bust working restaurant in Varna

During a special police operation to check on compliance with anti-epidemic measures, police in the Black Sea city of Varna found a restaurant working, with 37 people inside, the regional directorate of the Interior Ministry said.

The 37 people found inside the restaurant during the bust, which took place just after midnight on January 29, will be fined under the Health Act for violating measures against the spread of Covid-19. Fines for individuals range from 300 to 1000 leva (about 150 to 500 euro).

During the operation, two people were arrested for failing to comply with a police order, the statement said. They were taken into 24-hour custody and face charges under the Interior Ministry Act.

Similar busts were made in Sofia and Plovdiv on recent weekends.

Under the current version of Bulgaria’s rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19, restaurants and bars remain closed until February 28, although deliveries and takeaways for the home or office are allowed. The exception for restaurants in places of accommodation remains in place – meaning that they are allowed to serve registered guests.

From March 1, restaurants and coffee shops may open, but not discos, night clubs, piano bars, dance bars and night bars. The places that are allowed to open may not use more than 50 per cent of their capacity, there must be a distance of 1.5 metres between the backs of chairs on two adjacent tables and staff must wear protective masks.

Interviewed by Bulgarian National Television on January 29, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov was asked about the issue of restaurants remaining closed, which has led to public protests in the past week.

“I understand them, I understand all the worries of these people – the restaurateurs, the bartenders, the waiters, the managers of the restaurants. Yes, indeed, they have taken many measures, but the measure most important of all is to save people’s lives and health,” Angelov said.

“I am not ready…with these 33 cases of the new type of this virus, the UK one in Bulgaria, for us to start losing human lives again and to return to the place we were,” he said.

“Let’s take the example of Israel. Until a few weeks ago, Israel was an example in the world in terms of the number of vaccinated, the number of cases of illnesses in medical institutions. Look at what’s been going on in the past week – they have 8000 cases a day. A thousand are in the intensive care units. We cannot afford such actions,” Angelov said.

(Archive photo: Cathy Kaplan)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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