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New anti-epidemic measures enter into force in Bulgaria on November 27

Photo: BGNES

The emergency epidemic situation in Bulgaria will be extended until January 31, 2021, this country’s Minister of Health Kostadin Angelov said at a briefing at the Council of Ministers building. The more stringent measures will be introduced on Friday night (November 27) and will be in force until December 21.

By order of Bulgaria’s Minister of Health the following restrictions will be imposed:

- In-person classes in all educational institutions in Bulgaria are suspended, including in-person classes for students from the 1st to the 12th grade and for all universities, kindergartens and all group forms providing services for children.

-  All group events, public events, cultural and entertainment events, conferences, seminars and competitions are prohibited.

- Visits to fitness centers and all sports and training events for people under 18 are suspended. Exceptions are made only for ongoing sports events. All sports events for people aged 18 or above will be held behind closed doors.

- Private events with more than 15 people are not allowed.

- Large shopping centers and malls will close during the abovementioned period.

- All restaurants, catering establishments and places for entertainment will be closed. The catering establishments will be allowed to make food deliveries to homes and offices only.

- Visits to gambling halls and casinos are suspended as well.

- Excursions and all types of group trips are prohibited.

- Pet stores, opticians, pharmacies, food stores, banks, telecommunication operators and post offices on the premises of shopping centers and malls will remain open. Small shops will continue to operate under the current conditions- keeping physical distance and wearing face masks. Theaters will continue to work using up to 30% of the venue’s capacity and under strict compliance of the anti-epidemic measures.

Temples, parks and gardens remain open. No curfew will be imposed on the territory of Bulgaria.

“My personal conviction is that with the introduction of the new anti-epidemic measures we will be able to reach Covid-19 morbidity plateau”, Bulgaria’s Chief State Health Inspector Associate Professor Angel Kunchev said at the briefing.

He clarified that with the current restrictions, this country will be among the countries with 70%-75% stringency of anti-covid measures in Oxford University’s Covid-19 government response stringency index. “By introducing these measures we hope to reverse the current trend, contain the spread of coronavirus infection and allow each Bulgarian family to welcome the forthcoming bright holidays in a peaceful atmosphere”, Associate Professor Angel Kunchev said further.

Covid-19 morbidity will fall at the end of the second week after the introduction of the new anti-epidemic measures at the earliest.

Coronavirus mortality rate will drop at the end of the third week after the imposition of the stricter measures, analyses of the National Crisis Headquarters based on observations in other countries show. It is absolutely necessary to introduce the new measures to make sure that Bulgaria’s health system withstands the pressure, the head of the National Crisis Headquarters Professor Ventsislav Mutafchiyski said. “Human life is of absolute value. Being doctors, we cannot support another value”, Ventsislav Mutafchiyski added.

Three new centers for donation of convalescent plasma will open in Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Pleven, Dr. Asen Baltov, Director of Pirogov Hospital for Emergency Medicine announced. Currently, there are two centers for donation of convalescent plasma- in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and in the second-largest city Plovdiv.

Government adopts new measures for closed businesses

“It was a very difficult decision with a lot of compromise. Everyone had worries and anxieties, but we will try to continue all support measures and make sure no one is left alone. The 60/40 and 80/20 wage support schemes continue. Patronage care continues as well”, this country’s Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva said at the briefing.

“People on unpaid leave with an average income of up to EUR 465 per household member will be able to apply for a monthly compensation amounting to the minimum salary in Bulgaria”, Minister Sacheva clarified.

“Our economy needs healthy people. The trade sector remains fully open”, Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov said at the briefing.

Photos: BTA and BGNES
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