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Bulgaria ready to adopt the green pass on a nationwide scale
The Bulgarian Minister of Health, Stoycho Katzarov, announced new Covid-measures, as the country’s daily new infections reached 5,000. The new measures will come into effect at midnight between 20 October and 21 October.
During the press conference when the measures were introduced, the Minister explained that they will stay in place until they give the desired result.
Green pass for indoors
All indoor activities will require a green pass, meaning, people have to be vaccinated, recovered or have a negative antigen test from the last 48 hours, or PCR test from the last 72 hours. This measure excludes children under the age of 12.
The green pass applies for both staff and visitors to restaurants, hotels, cinemas, theatres, concerts, galleries, malls, sports centres and shops bigger than 300 square metres. The Minister also said that stores that sell food will be excluded.
Organised vacation groups can visit tourist sites only if all participants have a green certificate and the same goes for university students. All visitation to health centres are prohibited and all their staff need a green pass as well. The latter also applies to staff in care homes for the elderly.
Stoycho Katzarov explained that nationwide school closure is not necessary at this point. Instead, health authorities mandate online education only for municipalities where the infection rates are over 750 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
All children between grades 5 and 12 will have to wear a mask at all times in school, while the green pass is not mandatory for school staff. Universities can institute distanced learning if they choose to do so, but for in-person lectures, the green pass applies to everyone. Passengers on public transport, meanwhile, will not have to provide a green pass.
The Health Ministry wants to institute stricter guidelines for laboratories that issue COVID-19 passes. The Minister explained that the penalty for issuing out a fake certificate is having their license revoked.
At the same time, authorities will supply free tests to the laboratories so laboratories will not charge a fee for issuing the tests. They can, however, charge a fee for taking samples.
Stoycho Katzarov urged the public to get the vaccine as the best way to avoid infection.
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