Masks in closed public spaces mandatory again as cases in Bulgaria continue to rise

Masks in closed public spaces mandatory again as cases in Bulgaria continue to rise

Bulgarian Health Minister Kiril Ananiev reinstated the requirement for masks in closed public spaces as of Tuesday, June 23. The order expires on June 30, and allows exceptions for places for food and beverage consumption.

The country’s confirmed coronavirus infections per day has been on the rise over the past ten days. The government has been revoking the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 since May 6 till it lifted nearly all of them over the course of the month. New cases remained low – at about ten per day for a while – but spiked in the hundreds after two weeks.

PM Boyko Borissov said the government will not reinstate any of the revoked measures, but the Health Ministry finally announced it will bring back the requirement for masks in closed public spaces. Officials said police will be on the lookout for violations. By noon Tuesday law enforcers had issued three fines and four warnings. The fine for not wearing a mask in the public transport is 300 leva.

Meanwhile, PM Boyko Borissov and Regional Development Minister Petia Avramova visited the Rilla monastery today and entered without masks, violating the rule, which came into force at midnight. They, along with the bishop accompanying them will also be fined 300 leva for the violation.

Open air sport events will be held only at 50% spectator capacity, while football matches will allow only 1000 people per spectator area.

Closed public spaces like concert halls, theaters, bars, night clubs and event halls will also be allowed to function only as long as they use no more than 50% of the space’s capacity.

Today, Bulgaria registered 79 new coronavirus infections for the past 24 hours. The total number of confirmed cases to date in the country rose to 3984. 2171 people have recovered from the infection, while 207 have died. Eight of the deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, which marks a record since the outbreak. Currently 341 patients with COVID-19 are treated in hospital, 11 are in ICUs.

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