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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 114

As of today Bulgarians travelling to Cyprus required to have negative Covid-19 test

As of today, 29 June, all people arriving in Cyprus from Bulgaria are required to have a negative coronavirus test. Nicosia put Bulgaria on its list of higher risk countries over the coronavirus pandemic. The change was made after 3 passengers flying from Bulgaria to Cyrus were found to be infected with Covid-19. “All arrivals from Group B countries, including Bulgarians, must have had a PCR test in their own country up to 72 hours prior to the flight, instead of taking a test upon their arrival in Cyprus,” said Cyprian Health Ministry press officer Margarita Kyriakou for the BNR. All arrivals in Cyprus must also complete, in advance, a questionnaire, a declaration, and provide other kinds of information regarding their trip in an electronic flight platform created specifically for the purpose. 

There will be three direct flights on the Bulgaria-Luxembourg route as of July 1

Bulgaria is open for tourists from Luxembourg and awaits them, this country’s Bulgaria’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva underlined during her official visit to Luxembourg. "We must not lock entire countries in the fight against the coronavirus, but impose restrictions in certain regions and towns where Covid-19 outbreaks are registered", Luxembourg’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn said.

Bulgaria expects clarity from EU regarding tourists from third countries

Bulgaria is expecting to receive instructions from the European Commission, at the beginning of the week, on the travel of people from non-EU countries,said Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova. In her words this concerns tourist markets crucial to Bulgaria such as Russia, Israel, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey etc. Minister Angelkova added that she was seeing more people coming to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast in recent days. “I am hoping to see the wheel turning and the scheduled charter flights taking place so as to revive resorts like Sunny Breach, Golden Sands, Albena, which rely mostly on foreign tourists,” she said. 

Mountain destinations-attractive amidst coronavirus crisis

190,000 tourism trips took place over the weekend. 50,000 people opted to go to the mountain, said Rumen Draganov from the Institute of Analysis and Assessment of Tourism for Bulgarian National TV. In his words, there is an interest in 14,000 beds in mountains due to the coronavirus. A major factor for the empty beaches thus far has been the bad weather, people from the tourist industry say. There is a lot of interest by tourists from Romania but the lack of information about the pandemic is what is stopping them from coming to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, hotel operators say.

66 newly registered coronavirus cases out of 1,034 tests over past 24 hours

66 new Covid-19 cases have been registered in the country over the past 24 hours, out of a total of 1,034 tests performed, or 46 less than the previous day,according to data of the Health Ministry’s single information portal. The total number of Covid-19 infections in the country since the start of the epidemic is 4,691. Of them 1,964 are active, 423 are in hospital, 25 in ICU. 2,508 have recovered, 33 of them over the past 24 hours. 3 have died over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll up to 219.

Coronavirus cannot survive on surfaces: Immunologist

“It is absurd to say that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces. It is a living organism which cannot exist outside the cell,” Prof. Dr. Krassimir Metodiev, immunologist, bioterrorism expert and President of the International Medical Association, Bulgaria said for the BNR. “Such claims foist a psychosis onto society and people start to be afraid to touch different surfaces and even to greet one another.” Prof. Metodiev commented that at the moment we are witnessing a variability of the coronavirus, which is adapting to the different conditions of the different geographic and climatic zones. "That is why the anti-epidemic measures must be taken seriously," Prof. Metodiev urged.

60/40 wage support scheme to continue until end September

The 60/40 wage support scheme will continue until the end of September and can be extended until the end of the year if necessary, Bulgaria’s Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva pointed out. The proposal was unanimously supported by employers and labor unions. The scope of the sectors entitled to state compensation is to be expanded from July 1. The requirement for employers to have paid social security contributions and taxes for the current year is dropped, provided that they have delcared them due. A package of two more measures will be launched on July 1. The first measure will be aimed at maintaining the employment of workers in the transport sector and the hotel and restaurant business. Unemployed will be hired for a period of three months under the second measure- Employment for You programme. Restoration of employment levels is expected to start at the end of the year, Minister of Social Affairs Denitsa Sacheva told the National Council for Triopartite Cooperation.

Bulgaria allocates EUR 102 million to medium-sized businesses

The EC has given its approval to Bulgaria to support medium-sized business affected by Covid-19 with EUR 102 million. A statement from the European Commission reads that the measure was necessary, appropriate and proportionate. Part of the financing (87 million euros) comes from the European Regional Development Fund, and the companies will receive directly and gratuitously up to 75,000 euros. There is no restriction on their activities, except for initial production and processing of agricultural products, fishing, aquaculture, forestry, financial services and gambling. The funds will be allocated before December 31 to about 1,500 companies.

Business climate in Bulgaria improving for second consecutive month

Business climate in Bulgaria has been improving in June 2020, which is due to more favorable assessments and expectations of companies in all sectors - industry, construction, retail and services, according to national statistics. The general business climate indicator rose by 11.4 points in June after a rise of 11.8 points in May. For the second month in a row, part of the dramatic decline of 42 points marked in April was erased. Business forecasts are that most prices will remain unchanged. Only in retail trade some price rise is expected.

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Health is against additional admission of children to nurseries and kindergartens

The position of the ministry was adopted before the coronavirus pandemic and admission of more children to nurseries and kindergartens in the current situation is completely inadvisable, BGNES informs. Bulgaria’s Ministry of Health has always expressed an opinion on strict compliance with health requirements providing healthy environment for raising and educating children. According to the ministry, the total area of the premises (bedroom and study room) must provide at least 4 square meters for each child. 

Compiled by: E. Karkalanova

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