The Bulgarian National Assembly, the country’s parliament, declared a nationwide state of emergency Friday to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The decision, which took effect immediately and will be in force for one month, authorizes the government to take all necessary measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following the decision, Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev introduced a batch of anti-epidemic measures.
Entertainment and gambling halls, discos, bars, shopping centers and restaurants are closed, while grocery stores and pharmacies remain open, according to a statement by the ministry.
Nurseries, kindergartens, schools, universities and other educational organizations are closed and all kinds of mass events suspended.
All employers should introduce remote working. If this is not possible, employers have to implement enhanced anti-epidemic measures in the work premises, the ministry said.
At the same time, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry called on citizens to refrain from traveling abroad, except when it is absolutely necessary.
A total of 23 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Bulgaria so far, and one of them, a 66-year-old woman, has died.