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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 76

Photo: Georgi Tsvetkov

Ban on citizens of EU and Schengen countries entering Bulgaria has been lifted

As of May 22, the ban on citizens of the EU and Schengen countries (including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and the Vatican) to enter the territory of Bulgaria is lifted, by a new order issued by Bulgaria's Healthcare Minister.

Bulgaria’s real estate market recovers

The real estate market in Bulgaria has started to recover after it came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic. The property prices are expected to fall. However, prices of high-quality properties at good locations will not decrease. Interest in suburban houses has resumed. Buyers also show interest in holiday properties along the Black Sea coast and in the Bulgarian mountains. The prices of the properties sold in the last two months were 5%-10% lower as compared to the price levels registered before the crisis, an online discussion of National Real Estate Association, summarized by Dnevnik daily, shows.

For fourth consecutive day, number of recovered patients exceeds number of new infections

During the past 24 hours, 41 new cases of Covid-19 have been registered in Bulgaria, as 11 of them have been hospitalized, said Prof. Todor Kantardzhiev at the regular briefing of the National Crisis Headquarters. Another 1,450 tests were performed in the past day, as the total number of positive samples until now is 2,372. Of these, 1478 are active cases and the increase in patients is 1.8%. 

42 patients have recovered over the past 42 hours and have been discharged from hospital. The total number of cured patients until now is 769.

Bulgaria’s big and medium-sized enterprises have resumed their activity

Nearly 90% of the big and medium-sized enterprises affected by the Covid-19 crisis have fully or partially resumed their activity in the first week after the end of the state of emergency, data of an observation made by the Confederation of Independent Trade Union in Bulgaria on over 100 Bulgarian companies show.

During the state of emergency, three-quarters of the observed companies sent their employees to paid annual leave, nearly 25% of the employers sent their staff to unpaid leave and over 10% of the companies resorted to redundancies.

Taxi companies demand Covid-19 shields in taxis  

Several large taxi companies in Sofia launched an initiative for placing protective barriers in the vehicles to separate drivers from passengers. Thus, drivers and clients will be protected from the transmission of infections while travelling. The polycarbonate barriers will not impede payment of bills and communication between drivers and passengers, the taxi companies assure.

Parliament adopts at first reading changes for VAT on books and restaurants

The proposal of GERB and the United Patriots to reduce VAT on restaurants, catering services and books has been adopted at first reading by the National Assembly. From July 1 this year until the end of 2021, VAT on these services and goods will be 9%. Vouchers for vacations at state-owned bases for medics, police officers and employees at the front line in the fight against coronavirus are also planned. The changes are expected to be finally adopted in the coming weeks.

Constitutional Court to consider President Radev’s objections to texts of the Health Act

Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court admitted for consideration President Rumen Radev’s objections to two texts of the amended Health Act connected with the emergency epidemic situation introduced on May 14.
President Radev argued that having the Council of Ministers as the body which announces emergency epidemic situation contradicts with the Constitution of Bulgaria. Moreover, the law does not specify the exact duration of the emergency situation, President Radev noted. President Radev also disputes the criteria in the law on whose basis the chief state health inspector may assess the epidemic risk in the country. The judges will rule after the end of the emergency epidemic situation on June 14.

National Palace of Culture to hold concerts and congresses outdoors due to Covid-19

The National Palace of Culture (NPC) in Sofia will provide an opportunity to the cultural community to hold its events in compliance with the anti-epidemic measures. The events will take place on a new multifunctional outdoor platform in the park behind the NPC. The space was tested last year as an open-air summer cultural stage and now it is turning into a venue for all types of events, including congresses, conferences, workshops, etc. The platform starts functioning on June 1.

Two-thirds of Bulgarians think their jobs are at risk

An international survey (of Zaplatomer.bg and Paylab.com) conducted in 15 countries indicates that 55% of workers believe that their jobs are at risk. In Bulgaria, as many as 59% have responded that their jobs are strongly or partially endangered. 18% of the respondents said their remuneration has been reduced, 13% were laid off and 11% went on unpaid leave. 41% work remotely, 14% with reduced working hours, and 22% are on vacation. 4% indicated that they had been out of work before the introduction of the isolation measures, and 17% say they have not been affected by the crisis.

Compiled by: E. Karkalanova and Radio Bulgaria’s news team

You can find all stories and important publications related to COVID-19 in Bulgaria at our special coverage section in English.

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