Sofia, June 26, 2020
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov faces a $172 (300 lev) fine for breaking a coronavirus-related regulation while visiting the famous St. John of Rlia Monastery on Tuesday.
Just the day before, Health Minister Kirill Ananiev ordered Bulgarians to resume wearing masks at all indoor public venues after the highest weekly rise in coronavirus infections was recorded last week.
“All persons who were without protective face masks in the church at the Rila Monastery during the prime minister’s visit will be fined,” including journalists, photographers, and camera operators, the Health Ministry told Reuters.
The Ministry did not specify whether any clergy will be fined.
PM Borisov, who has refused to close the churches, visited Rila Monastery on Tuesday as a follow-up to his previous visit on June 2, during which he promised that the Bulgarian government would allocate more than $1 million (1.9 million lev) to the struggling monastery and UNESCO World Heritage site.
“We have done everything we promised,” the PM told the abbot, His Grace Bishop Evlogy, noting that federal funds had been approved for repairs to the road leading to the monastery and for a wastewater treatment plant, to keep the nearby river clean.