Bulgaria announced that it was to close schools, restaurants, shopping malls and gyms until Dec. 21 as it struggles to contain a surge in new coronavirus infections.
The restrictions will start late on Friday. The decision was taken with the aim of preventing a strained health system from being overwhelmed
“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.
Like much of central and eastern Europe, Bulgaria, which has a population of 7 million, weathered the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic relatively well in the spring, but cases have spiked across the region this autumn.