Bansko ski resort first Bulgarian town to impose full quarantine over COVID-19

Four cases of tourists with coronavirus were confirmed in a span of 24 hours

The town of Bansko

Several new coronavirus cases, which emerged in Bansko over the past two days prompted the government to impose a full shutdown of the resort. Residents have until 8:00 P.M tomorrow, March 18, to return home. The 200 foreigners vacationing in the resort, will be escorted out of the town over the next day. No one will be allowed to go outside except for emergencies or to buy groceries. Banks and gas stations, along with grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

Only trucks carrying essential will be allowed to enter the town, no one will be going out except in cases of medical emergencies.

Between yesterday and today the three most popular ski resorts in Bulgaria – apart from Bansko - Borovets and Pamporovo – all ended the ski season early due to the virus.

Yesterday, March 16, two cases were confirmed In Bansko: a nine-year-old boy and his uncle. Both British citizens were on a ski vacation. It was revealed that the man’s sister was diagnosed for coronavirus, which is how the two likely contracted the virus. The head of the COVID-19 crisis response team General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski directed harsh criticism at what he described as “absolutely irresponsible [behavior].”

Two other cases of Israeli citizens on a ski trip to Bansko were also confirmed the next day, March 17. Both have since left the country but apparently had entered the country already infected, with one of them showing symptoms while in Bansko. A ski instructor also tested positive and he and his family are also under quarantine.

The lockdown in Bansko will last for at least two weeks.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to date in Bulgaria are 81, including two fatalities. 

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