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Stricter Covid measures to enter in force in Bulgaria from September 7

The school year will begin with in-person training on September 15

Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian health authorities have decided to introduce a number of stricter anti-epidemic measures across the country since September 7 for a period of two months amidst rising number of new cases. According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Stoycho Katsarov, the restrictions are imposed due to the low percentage of vaccinations against Covid-19 in Bulgaria (about 16% of the population). He stressed that if the situation worsens, much stricter measures will be introduced to prevent overloading the healthcare system.

Some of the new measures include:

· Restaurants will be allowed to work from 7 am until 10 pm;

· Audience in theatres, concert halls and cinemas can occupy up to 50% of the seats;

· Indoor sports competitions will be held without an audience, and outdoor competitions with up to 30% attendance;

· Gyms will be allowed to work at 30% capacity;

· Up to 30 people will be admitted to family events indoors;

· Children's clubs, team building events, festivals and fairs, indoor group sports are prohibited;

· Remote work is recommended where possible.

"There is no room for panic and the spread of fears," said Dr. Stoycho Katsarov. According to him, the situation is serious, but it is not out of control. However, the number of deaths from coronavirus is worrying (54 for the last 24 hours). "85% of the deceased are people over the age of 65," the minister said, urging elderly citizens to get vaccinated.

Schools will reopen for the new school year with in-person learning, but at some point a "flu vacation" may be necessary, said Dr. Stoycho Katsarov.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus almost completely dominates in Bulgaria and only 2% of the tested samples showed the presence of the British variant, said Prof. Iva Hristova, director of the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases. One person currently infects between 6 and 8 people, she explained.

English version Rositsa Petkova

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