Bulgarian Health Minister’s March 22 anti-epidemic measures: Details

These are the details of the order issued on the night of March 18 by Bulgarian Health Minister Kostadin Angelov regarding heightened anti-epidemic measures to be in effect from March 22 to 31.

In-person classes at schools are suspended, are all extracurricular activities in and outside schools.

In-person classes at tertiary education institutions are suspended, with an exception for practical training and practical exams in the fields of medicine, dentistry, health care, pharmacy and public health.

In-person classes at language, educational and training centres, are suspended.

Visits to kindergartens and nurseries are suspended.

The holding of in-person congresses, conferences, seminars, competitions, training, team building, exhibitions and other public events is suspended.

The order suspends cinemas, theatres, stage events, concerts, museums, galleries, libraries, dance and musical classes, as well as outdoor fairs and festivals.

Meetings and celebrations of a private nature with the presence of more than 15 people are not allowed.

No sports events, whether training or competitive, for people younger than 18 may be held. An exception is allowed for sports people registered with sports federations.

Spectators are barred from sports competitions for all age groups.

Gyms, fitness centres and clubs, swimming pools and complexes are closed, with an exception for sports people registered with sports federations.

Visits to spa centres and wellness centres, whether stand-alone and adjacent to places of accommodation, are suspended.

All restaurants, and places of entertainment registered under the Tourism Act, are closed, but delivery or collection of food for the home or office are allowed. In places of accommodation, only room service deliveries are allowed.

Visits to gambling halls and casinos are suspended.

Visits to shopping centres and shopping malls are suspended, with exceptions for grocery stores, medical facilities, pharmacies, drugstores, opticians, pet stores, banks, insurers, postal and courier service providers, payment service providers, telecommunications operators’ offices, communications and utility service providers and dry-cleaning services.

Visits to stores with a net retail area of more than 300 square metres offering non-food items are suspended. Net commercial area means the area, including stands, which is accessible to customers. The ban does not apply to shops (hypermarkets and supermarkets) offering mainly foodstuffs.

Group tourist trips with organised transport in the country and abroad and group visits to tourist sites in the country are suspended.

Natural and juristic persons who own or manage commercial, administrative or other places providing services to the public must make arrangements that control the number of customers, not allowing more than one person per three square metres.

At markets and bazaars, arrangements must be made for one-way foot traffic and a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between visitors. Wearing a protective mask is mandatory.

Where possible, employers should allow staff to work remotely, allowing no more than 50 per cent of the staff to be present at the workplace.

Grocery stores must admit only people older than 65 between the hours of 8.30am and 10.30am.

Visits by outsiders to medical establishments are prohibited, with an exception for visits to patients who are terminal.

Visits to social services specialised institutions and social homes for children and adults may be allowed as an exception and at the discretion of the head of the institution, in compliance with anti-epidemic measures and with the submission by the visitor that he or she has not been in contact with a person infected with Covid-19, has no signs of acute respiratory illness and will comply with the anti-epidemic measures.

(Photo of Angelov via his Facebook page)

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