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Version 3 of the Guidelines for Accommodation and Catering Facilities

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May 29, 2020

The document has been consulted with the Ministry of Health, and in the part concerning nutrition - with the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.

The Ministry of Tourism published on its website a supplemented version of the instructions for the activity of hotels and restaurants in the conditions after the lifting of the state of emergency in our country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated document includes instructions for the operation of the closed parts of the facilities, which according to the order of the Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev will be able to reopen from June 1, 2020. The text was approved by Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova and agreed upon with the Ministry of Health, and the sections concerning nutrition and catering in restaurants and hotels was consulted with the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.

Operation in the indoor and outdoor areas of the following types of establishments is permitted: restaurants, fast food restaurants, drinking establishments, coffee shops, cocktail bars, coffee bars, bar-congress centers, and sports bar centers (pool, tennis, fitness, bowling etc.), lobby bars, bar clubs, bar casinos and bar varietés. Visits to discos, piano bars and night bars are not allowed until the epidemic situation in the country changes and their use is authorized by the competent authority.

In catering and entertainment establishments, personal protective equipment (masks / helmets and gloves) remains mandatory for staff, and not for customers. The staff must comply with the "Requirements for business operators managing catering establishments with open-air retail space", prepared by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency and agreed upon by the Minister of Health, published on their websites.
With regard to tables, seating and the organization of the meal itself, it is recommended that the food be served whenever possible. Two options for buffets are allowed: when the food is arranged on a buffet behind a transparent barrier and its provision is carried out by an employee equipped with personal protective equipment; when the food is arranged at a buffet for  self-service by the customer, it will be done in compliance with the distance between customers and protection of food from secondary contamination through the use of gloves.

Also in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Health is the arrangement of tables in a way providing a distance of not less than 1.5m between them and with not more than 4 persons per table or per family.

The document specifies that family hotels and guest houses are not obliged to present a contract with a medical service facility. In case of suspicion of coronavirus infection in a guest at the site, they must strictly follow the instructions and recommendations of medical professionals from the RHI or the Center for Emergency Medical Care.

The instructions also reflect the possibilities for using indoor halls for classes, halls for performances, game and recreation rooms and others in compliance with the requirements for physical distance.

The guidelines for accommodation and catering establishments are based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health according to the rules of the World Health Organization and the European Center for Infection Prevention and Control, as well as on the EU guidelines for gradual resumption of tourist services and sanitary protocols in the hotel and restaurant sector, announced by the COVID-19 Commission on 13 May 2020.

Exactly on this date, the Ministry of Tourism posted on its website detailed instructions for the operation of hotels and restaurants with open spaces. It described in detail the measures for protection of the staff and visitors of these sites, the sanitary, hygienic and other steps for protection against the coronavirus.

The rules set out in the document are instructions for the operation of accommodation and catering establishments. Tourist sites differ according to their location, purpose and functions, design, operation and management, so adaptations should be made individually, but so as to comply with the guidelines, which are subject to update according to the epidemic situation.


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