Bulgaria’s PM proposes re-opening of malls and restaurants

Bulgaria’s PM proposes re-opening of malls and restaurants
By bne IntelliNews January 19, 2021

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has proposed re-opening restaurants and shopping malls a day after Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said the government would not ease that restriction soon and amid growing fears among owners that they will go bankrupt if they stay closed after the end of January.

Bulgaria imposed a lockdown at the end of November to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), closing all restaurants, night clubs, bars, cafes, shopping malls, sports and recreation facilities and all schools. Schools for children between first and fourth grade and kindergartens were re-opened in the beginning of January and Angelov said that the government hopes to be able to allow the remaining students to start attending schools in February.

Angelov also has said that shopping malls and restaurants are not a priority at the moment and that the government will first seek to re-open sports facilities and ease access to healthcare.

In response, owners of restaurants, bars, night clubs and cafes threatened to open on February 1 even this is not allowed by the government.

Borissov proposed restaurants be allowed to work until 10.30 pm at 50% of their capacity, according to a statement on the government’s website.

He also said shopping malls should re-open but without the areas where more people usually gather.

Meanwhile, the head of the national operational staff dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, said as quoted by Dnevnik news outlet that the authorities suspect that one in four new cases of coronavirus are of the new British mutation.

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