Bulgaria extends some COVID-19 restrictions until end-Jan

Bulgaria extends some COVID-19 restrictions until end-Jan

Some restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Bulgaria that were expected to be lifted on December 21 will remain in force until the end of January, as the daily number of confirmed cases remains high, the government said on Thursday.

"We see a very subtle decline in morbidity and in the percentage of positive tests. Mortality, however, continues to be high, yesterday 191 Bulgarian citizens lost their lives," health minister Kostadin Angelov explained during a cabinet meeting, according to a government press release. The number of hospitalised people also remains high, he added.

Bars, restaurants, gyms, shopping malls and casinos will remain closed until January 31 but theaters, art galleries, museums and cinemas will be able to operate at 30% capacity as of January 1, Angelov told Nova TV on Thursday.

The government also said in the press release it decided to reopen primary schools, kindergartens and nurseries as of January 4, relaxing some of the containment measures introduced on November 27.

Bulgaria saw a sharp rise in unemployment in the weeks following the introduction of the restrictions on November 27.

On Thursday, Bulgaria reported 1,959 new coronavirus cases. The total number of cases reached 186,246, of which 89,540 still active, according to health ministry data.

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