Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Caretaker Health Minister orders changes to measures

Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov has announced new measures regarding the Covid-19 situation, making provision for exceptions where people have been vaccinated.

The order, which takes effect on August 20, said that the measure placing a limit of 50 per cent use of capacity of certain places may not be applied provided that all staff have been vaccinated against or undergone Covid-19, or present a negative PCR test result done up to 72 hours before entry to the place.

This rule covers numerous places and events, including restaurants, gambling halls and casinos.

It also covers congresses and conferences, seminars, competition, training sessions, team building, exhibitions and other in-person public events, cultural and entertainment events including festivals, cinemas, theatres and concerts, as well as spectator sports, fitness centres, sports halls and clubs, swimming pools and complexes, spa and wellness centres, children’s centres, clubs and others providing organised group services for children.

Katsarov’s order said that managers of such places and organisers of events must notify the regional health inspectorate of the decision taken, while the regional health inspectorates must maintain a list of sites and activities so that check-ups can be done.

Also as of August 20, the heads of all administrations must organise variable working hours, with the working day starting between 7.30am and 10am, while – if possible – sending at least 50 per cent of the staff to work remotely.

“This will significantly reduce the congestion of people in urban and intercity transport throughout the country, will facilitate compliance with anti-epidemic measures and the implementation of effective health control,” the Health Ministry said.

The order said that all employers should, where possible, allow no more than 50 per cent of employees to be present while others work remotely.

Katsarov’s order comes against a background of a drastically worsening Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, with Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev having said on August 19 that the country is now in the midst of a fourth wave of Covid-19.

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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