SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria’s government is extending a nationwide lockdown until the end of January, as the number of new coronavirus infections and fatalities remain high and is putting pressure on the overloaded health care system.
All non-food shops, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes and gyms remain closed. Conferences and congresses are banned.
Secondary schools will stay closed while primary schools will reopen on Jan. 4.
The government had to deal with strong pressure from businesses to ease the lockdown during the holidays and allow people to celebrate as usual.
“We have always put the lives and health of the people first, so we will continue to implement these measures,” Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Thursday.
Health authorities said the country is ready to kick off its COVID-19 inoculation campaign once the vaccines are approved in the EU.
The Balkan country of 7 million has had 186,246 confirmed cases, including 6,196 deaths.