Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions

Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Daily new COVID-19 cases in Bulgaria.
By bne IntelliNews January 18, 2021

Bulgaria’s government is considering gradually starting lifting the restrictions it has imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), making re-opening schools and sports facilities and easier access to healthcare its priorities, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on January 18 at a press conference live broadcasted by BNT.

There is growing frustration over the restrictions. Owners of restaurants, bars, night clubs and cafes have threatened to open in February even if the government does not allow them to as they are facing bankruptcy, news outlet Dnevnik reported.

Angelov responded that they are not a priority at the moment. However, Social Affairs Minister Denitsa Sacheva explained that the government is considering whether to gradually re-open restaurants, cafes and bars at winter resorts.

According to Angelov, the government intends to allow students from fifth to twelfth grade to return to school for three weeks and then study at home again. The goal is to have a lower number of students at schools in order to reduce the risk of a new spike in coronavirus cases. Those students have been at home since the autumn.

Sacheva suggested that shopping malls would remain closed for longer. On the other hand, if the easing of restrictions does not lead to a sharp rise of coronavirus cases, the government is likely to lift further restrictions every two weeks, Sacheva said.