Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Health Minister extends anti-epidemic measures

Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov has issued three orders extending anti-epidemic restrictions currently in place in the country, meant to prevent an increase of Covid-19 cases, after the caretaker Cabinet’s prolongation of the epidemic declaration to August 31.

The Sofia Globe previously reported on the travel restrictions order, issued by Katsarov on July 27 and amended on July 28 (available in English, here, including the current list of “red zone” countries).

The change was to clarify that Bulgarian nationals and permanent residents travelling from a country on the “red zone” list would be put in 10-day quarantine if they presented only a vaccination/recovery certificate or negative PCR test, but not both. It also said that the quarantine could be lifted if they had a negative PCR test within 24 hours of entering the country.

A similar rule applied to children aged 12 to 18, which were required a PCR test if travelling from a “red zone” country or would have to quarantine for 10 days, with the same provision that the quarantine could be lifted if they had a negative PCR test within 24 hours of entering Bulgaria.

The other two orders, signed by Katsarov on July 29, extended the anti-epidemic restrictions inside Bulgaria to August 31.

This includes limits on restaurants, entertainment establishments, gyms and spas, cinemas, theatres, museums, concert venues, sports events, seminars and exhibitions, children’s clubs and language schools to operate at 50 per cent capacity, while maintaining 1.5m social distancing and, for some activities, the mandatory wearing of masks.

Stores are required to limit the number of customers inside to one per eight sq. m. of their surface, as well as provide masks for their employees and disinfectant for their customers.

Employers are required to allow their employees to work from home where possible, with no more than 50 per cent of staff in the workplace. They have to provide personal protection equipment for their employees, regularly disinfect work premises and keep people with symptoms of acute respiratory disease out.

Face masks remain mandatory in indoor public spaces – with the exception of restaurants, during physical exercise, for speakers at conferences and seminars, as well as participants in television programmes – as well as outdoors in cases where maintaining 1.5m social distancing was not possible.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

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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