Restaurants outside the hotels remain closed, which deprives restaurateurs of the right to work on holidays. The Bulgarian Association of Restaurants (BAR) and the Association of Restaurants in Bulgaria (ARB) disagreed with the proposal of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Mariana Nikolova to extend the working hours of restaurants in hotels for the New Year until 00:30. At the same time, restaurants outside the hotels will be closed, which is an unacceptable double standard. With indignation from the branch organizations commented:
„We remind you that we supported the opening of restaurants in hotels until 22:00, so that there is still a place to eat their guests. However, an attempt is now being made to formalize the New Year’s celebrations, which are banned for the rest of the establishments.“
According to ARB and BAR, it is too late to make decisions to open the rest of the sector for the New Year. They justified the fact that from today until December 31, a restaurant can not prepare and collect reservations. Both organizations insist that no decision be made to open the restaurants in the hotels until 00:30 to welcome the New Year by their guests.
We remind you that on December 29 Mariana Nikolova explained that she will propose to the National Operational Headquarters to make an exception and on December 31 the restaurants in the hotels to work after 22:00. It is justified for longer working hours as follows:
„The proposal of the industry is that at least until 00:30 the restaurants in the hotels can work so that the guests can celebrate the New Year, instead of delivering food and drinks in the rooms. I think it will be more hygienic instead of tourists to walk and gather in the rooms. This depends on further discussions with the Prime Minister and the Headquarters.“
The Minister of Tourism revealed that she was a secret client. She disguised herself with a mask and hood to check the quality of hotel services and whether the measures are being followed. The Deputy Prime Minister said that so far the reservations in our winter resorts are about 30% and that in the coming months will rely on Bulgarian tourists. Last-minute bookings are expected, as well as guests from neighboring countries Serbia, Turkey and northern Macedonia.
The minister added that antigen tests work. No violations were found during the inspections on the holidays. Nikolova was adamant that she was ready to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in public.