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Bulgaria: With New Order Prime-Minister Closed Shopping Centers Only After Few Hours

Yesterday, just a few hours after the authorities allowed the independent sites in the shopping centers with direct access, to be able to continue their activities, this measure were revoked.

 By order of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the Minister of Economy revoked the Instructions for large retail sites issued earlier yesterday, the Ministry of Economy announced.

These chaotic anti-epidemic measures are increasingly hampering business and confusing citizens according to retailers and customers. Only 4 days after the large non-food stores with an area of ​​over 300 square meters closed, yesterday it turned out that they can welcome customers again, but under new conditions. This was announced during a regular briefing by Economy Minister Lachezar Borisov. Hours later, by order of Boyko Borissov, the ban was restored.

 The instructions referred to the reorganization of the activity of the independent shops for non-food items in the shopping centers, to which there is direct access (entrance) from a street or parking lot and the shops with net trade area over 300 sq. m.

The decision was taken in view of equality between the different  branches, as well as due to the short term of the forthcoming action of the anti-epidemic measures imposed by the order of the Minister of Health, which are for the period from 22 to 31 March.

Shortly after it became clear that large non-food stores would be able to operate if they blocked partially their trading area, restaurant and bar owners raised their voices against the easing of these measures.

 According to restaurant owners, in this way the authorities protect the corporate interests of large foreign chains at the expense of small and medium-sized family businesses.

 The organizations called for the immediate opening of all gyms, dance schools, day and night bars, as well as all other businesses, premises up to 300 square meters, and those with an area of ​​over 300 square meters to work in large conditions, shops with limited commercial space, as well as for the resumption of outdoor services. The restaurateurs again called for “complete closure of everything and payment of temporary adequate compensation” if their demands are not met.