Bulgaria to begin phasing out COVID-19 "Green Pass"

SOFIA, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Bulgaria will begin phasing out its COVID-19 "Green Pass," as the pandemic is subsiding in the country, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Under an order by Health Minister Asena Serbezova, which takes effect on Thursday, managers of shopping malls, eateries and swimming pools, as well as organizers of cultural and sporting events may allow visitors who have no "Green Pass."

A child arrives at a school during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Feb. 8, 2021. (File photo: Xinhua)

However, staff are still required to have the pass, a certificate proving that the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from the disease, tested negative or has antibodies.

The pass may be dropped altogether from March 20 if the epidemiological situation allows, the Health Ministry said.

According to a report by the country's chief health inspector Angel Kunchev, there has been a slowdown in the intensity of the pandemic in Bulgaria.

The country has seen significant declines in new infections and hospitalizations, Kunchev said.

However, he added that only 29.3 percent of the adult population in Bulgaria has been fully vaccinated, and an information campaign on the benefits of vaccination is required.

Bulgaria made the "Green Pass" mandatory last October.