Europe

Bulgaria goes into lockdown

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Bulgaria’s health minister Kostadin Angelov said Tuesday that the government will impose a three-week lockdown as of Friday, to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

The country registered 4,382 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 129,348. 3,226 people in Bulgaria have died from the disease. Some 6,365 people are in hospitals and about 400 of them are in intensive care, authorities said.

The government also extended the extraordinary epidemic situation until the end of January.

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“Only one thing has been proven to have an impact on COVID-19 – decreasing social contacts or quarantine. To ease the pressure on hospitals that are on the brink, we are introducing measures for three weeks”, prime minister Boyko Borissov said, and called on people to respect the measures to help the heath system deal with the situation.

Under the new measures, schools and universities will switch to online studies, while kindergartens will be closed. Private gatherings will be limited to 15 people, and all restaurants, bars, cafes and night clubs will be closed. Tourist trips at home and abroad will be banned.

Smaller shops will remain open and sports events to go ahead without spectators, while theatres will stay open at 30% of capacity.

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Borissov added that on December 21, schools, kindergartens and closed stores will be opened ahead of Christmas holidays.

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