Bulgaria: State of Emergency Law Published in Government Gazette

Bulgaria: State of Emergency Law Published in Government Gazette

The Law on Emergency Measures and Actions, announced by a decision of the National Assembly on 13 March 2020, was published in the Government Gazette, on 24 March 2020.

The law provides for the armed forces to carry out checks to identify a person, restrict the movement of a person, until the arrival of the Interior Ministry bodies, for which there is evidence that he/she has refused or failed to comply with the provisions of the articles 61 and 63 of the Health Act, by completing a duplicate written protocol for the cessation of vehicles until the arrival of the Ministry of the Interior, to restrict the movement of persons and vehicles at checkpoints, and make use of physical force and other means only when absolutely necessary.

A fine of 5,000 leva will be imposed for violating the anti-pandemic measures.

Most of the rules of the law apply retroactively – from March 13, and all the rest from March 24. Among those added to the Criminal Code today, there are amendments that provide for the punishment for selling goods during the state of emergency at prices higher than they were being sold, as well as the raising of the fine to 50,000 leva for incorrect information from radio stations, the phone or otherwise.

No seizures will be made in the bank accounts of individuals and medical institutions, wages and pensions, security measures in medical devices and equipment, and inventory of movable and immovable property owned by individuals, other than obligations for maintenance, for damage caused by unlawful injury and for wage claims.

Notarial procedures are limited to emergency cases in accordance with health and hygiene requirements. The Chamber of Notaries provides notaries with a ratio of at least one notary per 50,000 inhabitants for the respective area.

Until the state of emergency is lifted, the effects of late payment on the liabilities of individuals, including interest and penalties for late payments, as well as non-pecuniary consequences, such as early repayment, termination of the contract and seizure of assets do not apply.

Employers and the designating authorities, depending on the specific nature of the job and the possibility of securing it, may outsource work at home or telework, without the consent of their employees, unless this is not possible. The terms and conditions for the assignment, execution and control shall be specified by order of the employer or the competent authority.

Employers and designating authorities may grant up to half of the employee’s annual paid leave without his or her consent.

The restrictions imposed on overtime and its duration do not apply to part-time employees who provide or assist in providing medical assistance, to civil servants who, due to their job descriptions or their management orders, assist in providing medical assistance.

Police and fire and public protection agencies will work overtime beyond the scope of the article. 187, para. 7 of the Law on the Ministry of the Interior, with the express written consent of the civil servant. The lack of consent is not a reason for disciplinary action.

The provisions of the Law on Public Procurement do not apply to: the purchase by contracting authorities of hygiene, disinfectants, medical devices and personal protective equipment necessary for providing anti-epidemic measures, the purchase of medical devices, medical and laboratory equipment necessary for diagnosis and treatment of infected patients, their consumables and activities related to the implementation, the outsourcing of pesticide and hospital waste disposal activities pursuant to Decree no. 1 on the requirements for the collection and treatment of waste in the territory of medical and nursing establishments.

Pharmacies can only give medicine with prescription, without submitting the prescription, in accordance with the terms and procedures set by the National Health Insurance Fund on prescribed medication, until the state of emergency is withdrawn and for two months after its withdrawal.

Until the state of emergency ceases, by order of the Minister of Health, the export of medicinal products will be prohibited, within the provisions of the Law on Medicinal Products for People from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Anyone who violates the prohibition in paragraph 1 is fined 10,000 leva and in the event of repeated infringement the fines are doubled.

If necessary, the Council of Ministers instructs the State Bureau of State and War Reserves to inspect the State Reserve for cereals, meat, dairy products and other durable foods, medical equipment, medicines, medical supplies and alcohol and to prepare a report and proposal to the Cabinet for the purpose of evaluating the provision for additional reserves.

The Minister of Health can, by order, carry out inspections on the territory of an area by state or other health inspectors and/or by state health inspectors of the National Center for Radiology and Radiation Protection, to monitor the anti-pandemic measures and restrictions. In the case of violations found, the ratification acts are drawn up by the state health inspectors involved in the inspection and criminal offenses are issued by the director of the regional health inspection in whose territory the inspection is carried out.

The Minister of Education and Science may, by order, lay down provisional rules regarding the training and support of personal development in accordance with paragraph 1, including the workplace, working hours of directors and special educators, the technical means for organizing and conducting personal development training and support./ibna