Tuesday passed by under a cloud of anticipation over the proposed new anti COVID-19 measures. Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov announced a "green certificate" would be required for entering indoor establishments such as restaurants, clubs, cinemas, theatres, etc. The decision is not a total surprise but still controversial. Earlier today the Bulgarian Association of Restaurant Owners warned that the green certificate would not work. Also, many people in Bulgaria have doubts about vaccination.
New anti-COVID restrictions from Thursday
Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov announced there will be a requirement for "green certificates" for entering clubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, fitness centers, concerts, galleries, swimming pools and shopping malls. The green certificate is given to people who have completed a cycle of vaccination, people who already had the virus within the last six months and for those who have had a negative PCR test over the past 72 hours. The new stipulation applies to all those aged 18 and over.
"All activities that are carried out indoors should be carried out only by people with green certificates," said Katsarov. Certificates would not be needed for grocery stores, pharmacies, banking institutions, or public transport. If the measures do not show results, Katsarov warned it could lead to a "national lockdown".
Record COVID-19 cases
4,979 new coronavirus cases were reported over the previous 24 hours. This is the highest daily total since late March when the second Covid wave hit. Health Ministry data shows that 214 people died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll for the country since the start of the pandemic up to 22 488.
Protest against high energy prices
On Tuesday employers and trade unions joined in a protest against the high electricity prices in several cities. The reason, they said, is the lack of adequate and timely measures on the part of the government. Meanwhile, the Minister of Energy announced that there will be some measures: the pricing methodology will be changed, state aid of BGN 50 per megawatt-hour will come into force by Friday. Prime Minister Stefan Yanev also said yesterday that concrete measures will be announced on Wednesday.