Hospitality sector given short shrift

| October 10, 2012

The Bulgarian Health Minister, Desislava Atanasova, has refused to lift the smoking ban in enclosed public places imposed in June, according to a Novinite story.

“This is a very European step that we made and we shouldn’t come back,” Atanasova was quoted as having said yesterday.

Representatives ofBulgaria’s restaurant and hotel sector had written an open letter to Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, asking for an easing of the country’s indoor public-places tobacco smoking ban.

The sector estimates that turnover has slumped by 20-40 per cent since the ban was introduced on June 1 and is alarmed about a possible mass exodus of customers and, therefore, business bankruptcies, during the winter.

At the end of September, two MPs had proposed amendments to the Health Act that would have returned the country to the regulatory position that existed before the introduction of the ban whereby all establishments bigger than 70 square meters had to have separate smoking and non-smoking areas, while smaller establishments had the choice of being either fully-smoking or non-smoking.

Category: Breaking News

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