New measures against the spread of the coronavirus are being introduced on the territory of Sofia, this is stated in an order of the Regional Health Inspectorate (RHI)-Sofia.
The order takes effect on August 4 and will last for 30 days. All persons, when they are in closed places that are accessible to citizens and/or intended for public use, including medical institutions, pharmacies, opticians, the specialized institutions for the provision of social services and those for social services of a residential type for children and adults, administrative institutions and other places where citizens are served or have access, commercial establishments, means of transport for public transport (tram, trolleybus, metro trains, taxi cars and shuttle taxis), railway stations, bus stations, Sofia airport, metro stations, are required to have a protective face mask for single or multiple use.
In addition, masks are mandatory in commercial establishments such as malls and supermarkets
Exceptions are allowed for:
a) children up to 6 years of age;
b) staff and customers in catering and entertainment establishments within the meaning of Article 124 of the Law on Tourism, gaming halls and casinos.
c) those exercising indoors for the duration of the physical activity (fitness, training establishments);
d) participants in congress-conference events, briefings, press conferences and seminars during speeches (lecture, presentation, etc.) while observing a physical distance of 1.5 m from other participants;
e) the participants (hosts and guests) in television shows, observing a physical distance of 1.5 m from the other participants;
f) in direct customer service, requiring a distance of less than 1.5 meters, the use of a protective face mask is mandatory. As an exception, customer service without a protective face mask is allowed when mechanical partitions made of glass or other transparent material are provided, allowing wet cleaning and disinfection.
All employers and appointing authorities have to organize the implementation of anti-epidemic measures in the workplaces, as follows: a) regular ventilation and disinfection; b) not allowing persons with manifestations of acute respiratory diseases (fever, headache, runny nose, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) to work premises; c) instructing staff on proper hand hygiene; d) creation of an organization to ensure a physical distance between persons of at least 1.5 m, and if this is not possible – wearing a protective face mask; 5. If possible and at their discretion, employers and appointing authorities have to create the possibility of remote work (home office) or establish working hours with variable limits or shift work, incl. limiting non-essential contacts at workplaces.
The order also states that visits to medical facilities for hospital care and hospices are limited. Only visits are allowed for patients with a stay of more than 5 days – at the discretion of the attending physician regarding the patient’s state of health and the risk of infection with COVID-19. In the specialized institutions for the provision of social services and those for social services of the residential type for children and adults, visits by outsiders are allowed as an exception and at the discretion of the director of the institution, subject to compliance with the introduced anti-epidemic measures to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 m .and wearing a protective face mask.
RHI-Sofia adds that the measures also apply to persons providing administrative and other services to citizens, who should use the means of information and communication technologies and, if possible, provide the relevant services in an electronic environment.
The order is subject to appeal within one month from its publication on the website of the Metropolitan RHI before the Administrative Court of Sofia-city according to the procedure of the APC.
However, the administrative act is subject to preliminary execution, and the appeal does not stop the execution of the order.