By VESELIN TOSHKOV
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of restaurant owners, chefs, waiters and bartenders are protesting in cities across Bulgaria against the government’s decision to impose a mandatory COVID-19 health pass on people seeking to enter indoor venues. Restaurant and hospitality associations organized the protest, calling the health certificates “inadequate” and “discriminatory.” They claimed that in the first two days of the new requirement, restaurant attendance dropped 80% nationwide. Critics say the government introduced the requirement too quickly for people to prepare for it. Bulgaria is facing a surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths amid one of the lowest vaccination rates in the 27-nation European Union. It has had the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the bloc for the past two weeks.