PM Boyko Borissov said state of emergency might end earlier

The state of emergency was decreed March 13 and currently set to end May 13

PM Boyko Borissov speaking to reporter at the construction site of Hemus highway

The PM announced today from one of his regular inspections of the construction of the Hemus highway, that he is thinking about loosening the measures imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In Borissov’s own words the government has not used many of the powers Parliament granted it by enacting a state of emergency. He said he has tasked lawyers in his team to find a way to keep some powers of certain institutions, which they received under the state of emergency and take the state out of it early.

This has been a point of criticism since the beginning of the state of emergency, as the government has been unable to explain what necessitated it: most of the measures could have been imposed without it.  But the problem might double: it is unclear how some extended powers would continue after the state of emergency and still remain temporary.

Regardless of the state of emergency, however, the government has reaffirmed its intention – first announced this week – to slowly open the access to parks. A decision for this will form after a test opening of one park in Sofia with controlled access: the priority group for this measure is parents with children. This means the restrictions will remain as is in general, but exceptions for the priority groups will be imposed.

While Mayor Yordanka Fandakova announced the municipality is developing the new rules to allow – at least – parents with children to parks, the head of the coronavirus crisis response team General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski – with whom the measures are consulted - threatened the loosened restrictions could be taken away just as easily in cases of violations. He stressed the importance of keeping a safe distance, and expressed “sincere hope” that the citizens comply with the rules.

Meanwhile the total number of cases Saturday reached 1247, 55 people with a coronavirus infection have died. 292 patients are in hospital, 37 are in ICUs.

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