Bulgaria to enter ‘soft lockdown’

A woman wearing a face mask passes by empty tables of coffee shop in Sofia, Bulgaria, 20 October 2020. [EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV]

Bulgaria will tighten its COVID-19 restrictions as of Friday at 11:30pm, the government announced after the country recorded the highest virus-related mortality rate in the EU and the second-highest in the world.

Authorities will close universities, schools, kindergartens and all other public gatherings, including all public entertainment events.

Theatres will be exempt as they will be able to operate at 30% of their capacity. With regards to sports, international competitions for adult athletes can be held, while gyms will close and pools will stay open.

Restaurants, cafes and bars will also have to close their doors but can continue doing home deliveries. Shopping malls, but for the convenience stores inside, will also have to close.

Excursions and group tourism are prohibited, yet small shops in the neighbourhoods will continue to operate. Temples, mosques, synagogues and parks remain open. Private gatherings with more than 15 people, however, will be forbidden.

Тhe Bulgarian version of lockdown, the softest in the entire EU, remains in effect until 2 December.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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