COVID-19 in Bulgaria: Will We Still Wear Masks after Restrictions are Lifted?
After four days, all COVID restrictions in Bulgaria will be lifted. This is a decision of the cabinet, which puts an end to the emergency epidemic situation. Today, however, it has become clear that much of the measures are being reconsidered.
With the abolition of the epidemic situation, all health measures fall - the requirement to wear masks in closed public spaces, to observe distance, as well as the limit on the number of people who visit indoor sites. The quarantine for contact persons is also abolished.
However, a very important clarification follows - the deputies from the ruling majority have submitted to the parliament a proposal for changes in the Health Act. They envisage that the masks will remain indoors and on public transport after April 1. It will be possible to introduce some of the measures at regional level. The RHIs will assess whether there is a need for quarantine for contact persons.
According to experts, the elimination of the emergency epidemic situation at the end of March is risky. “In Bulgaria, the mortality rate is one of the highest within the Omicron wave. In this sense, the repeal of the emergency legislation has its grounds. But it is imperative to note and emphasize the real risk. The risk is the emergence of new mutations, the reduced seasonality of Omicron, that is, the constant recurrence of waves throughout the year and the readiness in case of need, to impose measures and restrictions again,” said Asparuh Iliev.
However, despite the elimination of the epidemic emergency, most of the measures may remain. “These measures can be imposed at the suggestion of the Chief State Health Inspector by the Minister of Health, together with the regional authorities of the regions in Bulgaria,” said Deputy Chairman of the Health Committee in Parliament Dr. Alexander Simidchiev.
Immediately after the news of the end of the emergency epidemic came out, the first reactions followed. Businesses fear that with these changes, restrictions will actually remain and only the covid aid will fall. “At the moment when these measures are repealed, there is a high rise in inflation, electricity prices have jumped by five points and therefore we are dissatisfied, because we are left with no support for recovery from COVID,” said Pavlin Petrov of the Association of restaurants.
According to restaurateurs, the 60/40 measure, which remains until June, is no longer enough due to high inflation.
Amendments to the Health Act will be submitted to a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
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