Bulgaria’s capital Sofia heightens anti-Covid measures

The Sofia regional health inspectorate has issued an order introducing heightened anti-epidemic measures in the Bulgarian capital city, to come into force on August 4 and remain in effect for 30 days.

The district of Sofia city currently has the highest Covid-19 morbidity rate in Bulgaria, 467.86 out of 100 000 population on a 14-day basis.

In addition to the existing requirement to wear a protective mask in health and medical facilities and public transport, it will also be mandatory to do so in commercial establishments, railway stations, bus stations, metro underground railway stations and in Sofia Airport.

There are exceptions to the rule, applicable to children up to six years of age, staff and customers in catering and entertainment establishments, gaming halls and casinos.

Also exempted from the mask-wearing rule are those exercising indoors, participants in congresses and conferences, news conferences, and those giving lectures or presentations. However, participants must maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres.

There is also an exemption for presenters and guests in television shows. Participants must be 1.5m from each other.

In the case of direct customer service requiring a distance of less than 1.5 metres, the use of a protective face mask is mandatory. As an exception, customer service without a protective face mask is allowed when mechanical partitions made of glass or other transparent material are provided, allowing wet cleaning and disinfection.

In enclosed rooms, as well as in the workplace, a mandatory distance of one and a half metres, regular disinfection and ventilation must be observed.

If possible and at their discretion, employers may allow staff to work remotely (from home).

In the morning, there must be checks to ensure that people who have clinical symptoms of Covid-19 or other acute infectious diseases do not enter children’s facilities and social services facilities.

The order imposes limits on visits to hospitals and hospices. Visits may be allowed only to patients admitted for more than five days, and then at the discretion of the attending physician regarding the patient’s state of health and the risk of infection with Covid-19.

The Sofia regional health inspectorate said that, where possible, those providing administrative and other services to the public should do so online.

(Photo: US Air Force)

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