Government allows 12’000 fans at football cup final instead of 4000 as per standing order

PM instructs health minister to control crowds personally at the stadium

Health Minister Kiril Ananniev

The government decided to make an exception for today’s Bulgaria Cup football final between CSKA and Lokomotiv Plovdiv and allow as many as 12’000 spectators to the stadium. The match will take place at Vassil Levski National Stadium in Sofia. The current rules provide for no more than 4000 fans at the stands, 1000 per section.

The PM, along with the health, interior and sports ministers urged people to space out at at least a seat distance apart from each other.

"Let Health Minister [Kiril Ananiev] go to the stadium and personally oversee [people keep a distance]. Every other seat, with masks. The gesture we are making [for fans] to enjoy some of what they have been yearning. In return, [we expect] understanding and diligence instead of blame and to have to shut down attendance [altogether]."

The PM did not explain how understanding and diligence correlate with the tendency for viruses to spread more rapidly in crowds.

Yesterday pulmonologist and former chief medical expert to the committee for coronavirus to the government, Dr. Kosta Kostov, described the decision as a provocation against the efforts of all medical professionals.

"This is hypocrisies all know what will happen at the stadium. They will hug, they’ll scream’ they’ll jump, rage and throw firecrackers. These are some incredibly risky contacts."

Meanwhile, coronavirus infections in Bulgaria continue to rise by over a hundred per day over the past several weeks. The government had just loosened the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 almost in full, and two weeks later, the numbers began to go up significantly, registering record highs more than a few times. In response the government extended the state of epidemic emergency, once from June 15 to June 30, and today – till July 15. However, the actual antiviral measures do not mandate much beyond wearing a mask in closed public spaces.

Today Bulgaria registered 158 new coronavirus infections. The total number of cases since the beginning of the outbreak rose to 4989. 2083 are currently active cases, 2676 people have recovered from the infections. 435 patients in hospital, 32 are in ICUs. 230 people with the coronavirus have died.


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