Bulgarian authorities have surrendered to the demands of the restaurant industry and announced that a green certificate would be issued for people with large amounts of COVID-19 antibodies. The EU Commission has announced that there is not enough data to allow antibodies to justify a European green certificate, but states are free to develop their own solutions.
The Bulgarian health ministry announced a similar position on 26 October but has now changed it under external pressure from restaurateurs and against the backdrop of the upcoming 14 November elections.
“We have a decision to introduce green certificates for antibodies from Thursday,” said Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov. The certificate will be valid for 90 days.
“The main goal is to give the certificate to people who are well protected from infection. It will be given to people who have had the disease asymptomatically, to people who have bought an antigen test from the pharmacy and have seen that they are positive, but have not gone to the hospital, “explained the virologist Professor Radka Argirova.
There is a requirement that the antibodies must be 10 times above the protective limit determined by the tests to have real protection against coronavirus. In the last week, Bulgaria has seen a 20% decline in new COVID cases.
This decrease happened after introducing the green certificate system and the transition of schools to online teaching. From next week, the youngest students will return to school if their parents allow them to be tested for the virus twice a week.
(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)