Emergency measures currently effective in Bulgaria

Kiril Ananiev

Bulgaria's Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev ordered new bans and restrictions aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19. Below is the text of the ordinance, which comes into force today, 21 March:

 1.        Suspended are all visits to park areas, including city parks, sports and children's grounds, outdoor and indoor public facilities.

2.        The Ministry of Interior is working on the establishment of checkpoints at the entry and exit roads of the regional centres in order to check the purpose of citizens' trips.

3.        Citizens are allowed to pass through these checkpoints only in case of urgent need or emergency: if they work in a given residential area, for health reasons (their own or their relatives), or if they are returning to their current or permanent address. Citizens will have to provide an official note signed by an employer, a medical certificate or an ID document.

4.        Persons under 60 years of age are banned from shopping at grocery stores and pharmacies from 8.30am to10.30am every day.

5.        Suspended are all visits to entertainment areas, gambling halls, discotheques, bars, restaurants, fast-food facilities, public houses, sweets and coffee shops; and big trade centres such as shopping malls - with the exception of bank and insurance offices, food stores and pharmacies located at such premises. Restaurants and fast-food facilities are allowed to make door-to-door deliveries provided they strictly follow sanitary and hygiene requirements. All commercial activities not mentioned above will be continued under the existing order, strictly following the sanitary and hygiene requirements.

6.        Suspended are all school classes and extracurricular events (daycare centres, clubs, school camps, excursions, etc.) in schools, universities and other educational establishments and organisations. Wherever possible, remote teaching is to be introduced.

7.        Suspended are visits of children to nursery schools and kindergartens.

8.        Suspended are all group activities and working with children and students outside of the preschool and school education system which are organised or carried out by physical persons and legal entities, regardless of their legal and organisational form.  

9.        Suspended are all mass events, including sports events, entertainment and educational (cinemas, theatres, museums, concerts, conferences, symposia, sports and SPA centres, gyms, etc.).

10.    All employers are to introduce remote working regimes for their employees depending on the specific character and capacities of the corresponding working practice. When this is not possible, they must provide implementation of strict anti-epidemic measures in the working areas, including installation of filters, disinfection, airing, and briefings on personal hygiene procedures. Employees and visitors showing symptoms of acute contagious diseases are not to be allowed on the premises.

11.    Suspended are all planned paediatric and maternity consultations, preventive examinations and vaccinations, medical examinations and surgeries, including transplantations from living and deceased donors. Visitations to all medical facilities are prohibited.

12.    Temporary ban on entering the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is in effect as of 00.00am from 20 March until 17 April 2020 for all nationals of third countries through all border checkpoints regardless of the type of transport vehicles, including aircraft, sea vessels, railways and road vehicles.

13.    Remaining in force and effect is the ban on entering the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria by persons arriving from the following EU Member States and the Schengen zone: Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with the exception of the Bulgarian citizens, family members of Bulgarian citizens and persons with the status of permanent or long-term residents of Bulgaria. To citizens of these EU Member States and the countries of the Schengen area, and to their family members, transit passage via the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is allowed if they want to return to their home country or country of residence.

14.    The ban imposed under item 12 does not concern citizens of the EU Member States and the countries of the Schengen area and members of their families, with the exception of those mentioned in item 13.

15.    This ordinance does not apply to:

-   medical professionals, medical research workers, elderly citizens care and support specialists;

-   transport personnel involved in goods haulage, aircraft crews involved in commercial air traffic, and other transport personnel if necessary;

-   diplomats, officers of international organisations, military servicemen and humanitarian aid workers who are performing their duties;

-   persons traveling for humanitarian reasons; citizens of third countries holding a permit for long-term stay in an EU Member State and passing via Bulgaria in order to return to their country of residence.

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