Restauranteurs demand resignation of Bulgaria’s health minister

By bne IntelliNews January 27, 2021

Hundreds of owners of restaurants, cafes, bars and night clubs in Bulgaria went out to protest on January 27, demanding the resignation of Health Minister Kostadin Angelov due to the government’s decision that they will not be allowed to open before March 1.

Bulgaria imposed a lockdown at the end of November as the number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases had been beyond 4,000 a day for weeks and the health system was struggling to deal with the situation. At the time, the government decided to close all schools, sports and recreation facilities, restaurants, cafes, night clubs, bars and shopping malls.

On January 26, the government decided to reopen schools, sports and recreation facilities and malls as of February.

However, despite pressure from the owners of establishments, the authorities said they would be reopened on March 1 if the situation with the coronavirus is under control.

Owners claim that the authorities lied to them about their plans to reopen restaurants, bars and cafes several times and insist that all venues except night clubs must be reopened on February 1. They argued that night clubs should follow two weeks later, Dnevnik news outlet reported.

Angelov replied that the decision of the authorities not to open them is common sense as the new strain of coronavirus, first detected in the UK, is already present in the country. Experts are warning that Bulgaria will face a third, more severe wave of the pandemic, should the restrictions be eased too quickly.

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