Bulgaria’s Health Ministry announces rules for entering country from May 1

As of May 1, the official start of Bulgaria’s summer holiday season, entering the country will be possible if meeting one of three requirements, outgoing Health Minister Kostadin Angelov told a news conference on April 23.

These are a certificate of completed vaccination against Covid-19; a negative PCR or antigen test; or a medical certificate of having had, and recovered from, Covid-19 up to six months before entering Bulgaria.

The types of antigen tests that will be accepted will be listed on the website of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Health.

Angelov announced that as of April 24, spectators will be allowed at sports matches, with a limit of 30 per cent of capacity and no more than 1000 people per sector of a stadium. There should be a distance of 1.5 metres between individuals and spectators must wear protective masks.

The announcement came ahead of a major sports event, the Levski-CSKA football match on April 25 at 5pm. According to calculations by Bulgarian National Radio, Angelov’s announcement means that up to 4000 spectators would be able to attend the match.

As of April 24, in-person classes at language schools and educational centres will be allowed, subject to those attending maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres, wearing masks, hand hygiene and the premises being disinfected and ventilated every hour.

Angelov said that the Health Ministry had sent the Bulgarian Orthodox Church “recommendations” about anti-epidemic measures to be observed during the Eastern Orthodox Palm Sunday, on April 25, and Easter, which begins on April 30.

In churches, there should be distancing of 1.5 metres, protective masks must be worn, though there is an exception for clergy conducting services.

Crowding should be avoided, arrangements should be made for separate entrances and exits, and the willow branches traditionally handed out on Palm Sunday should be distributed outside the church buildings.

Services should be reduced in length. Worshippers were advised not to touch or kiss the icons, Angelov said.

Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev said that people were not being forbidden to go to church, but to limit their visits to them.

Angelov said that from May 10, the number of grades that may attend in-person classes at school would be increased. This would be done in line with a recommendation by the Minister of Education.

The briefing was told that the further easing of anti-epidemic measures was due to the trend of a slight, gradual reduction in new Covid-19 cases.

If some basic measures are not observed, the Easter holidays could lead to a change in this trend, Angelov said.

(Photo via varna.bg)

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