Bulgaria to ease rules for mask wearing indoors

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Bulgaria plans to lift the compulsory wearing of face masks in gyms, hairdressing salons, small shops and offices where all workers are vaccinated as coronavirus infections decrease, a deputy health minister said on Thursday.

“We have seen a drop in new infections and given the coming summer heat, we plan to take steps to ease the wearing of masks in some indoor spaces,” deputy minister Alexander Zlatanov told reporters.

Bartenders in small restaurants and cafes will also be allowed to work without masks if fully vaccinated, he said.

The wearing of face masks will remain obligatory in big shops, large administrative buildings and public transport.

Bulgaria has seen a significant drop in new infections since the third coronavirus wave peaked in April. On Thursday it reported some 131 new infections cases.

The country has the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union, with only 665,000 people of its 7 million population fully vaccinated. The interim government has opened special units in city parks to make access to anti-Covid vaccines easier.

Bulgaria has reported a total of 419,990 coronavirus cases, including 17,872 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Photo: A woman wearing a face mask walks in Sofia, Bulgaria. EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV