SOFIA, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 "Green Pass" will be mandatory for entering a number of indoor facilities in Bulgaria starting from Thursday, according to an order issued by the country's Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov Tuesday evening.
The "Green Pass" -- a certificate that a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months or tested negative in the previous 48 hours or 72 hours depending on the test -- will be necessary for anyone older than 18 to attend cultural and sports events.
The certificate will also be required to enter facilities such as eateries, swimming pools, fitness centers and shopping malls except those with grocery stores and pharmacies inside.
According to the order, the pass is also required for the staff of the hospitals and nursing homes, as well as for university staff and students.
The order comes amid a steady increase in the spread of COVID-19 in Bulgaria and an extremely low level of vaccination.
According to the country's COVID-19 information portal, 4,979 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours, the second highest daily growth since the Balkan country reported its first COVID-19 case on March 8, 2020, bringing the total number to 545,598.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria's COVID-19 death toll has risen to 22,488 after 214 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours. This is the third-highest daily death toll since the onset of the pandemic in the country.
The data also showed that only 6,201 doses of coronavirus vaccines were administered in Bulgaria in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to 2.63 million.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, only 23.9 percent of the adult population in Bulgaria have been fully vaccinated, ranking the last in the European Union. Enditem