Head of RO emergency service: Lockdown restrictions might not be lifted on May 15 if coronavirus situation does not improve
If the coronavirus situation worsens in the coming days, the lockdown restrictions might not be lifted on May 15, Raed Arafat, the head of the Emergency Situations Department (DSU), told local TV station Antena 3. He insisted that people need to follow the lockdown rules until then.
“If we start talking about specific measures that would be taken, it means we are misleading people or are irresponsible. We need to wait to be as close as possible to that respective period before we say what measures will be taken. If we see that the situation worsens, it might not be May 15 [e.n. the deadline for lifting the lockdown restrictions]. This is why we insist that people follow the rules. If we see that things go differently from what we had hoped, we might not take the measures we wanted to take,” Arafat said, quoted by News.ro.
If a significant increase in the number of local Covid-19 cases occurs, impacting the healthcare system, the easing of the restrictions might be re-evaluated, he explained. If the situation on May 15 is a good one, then the easing of restrictions can start gradually.
Meanwhile, PM Ludovic Orban said the restrictions would be lifted gradually.
He explained that the movement restriction concerning travel inside localities would be lifted after May 15 but not the one concerning travel between localities, which needs to be done under certain conditions, G4media.ro reported.
The PM said hotels and parks might reopen, as long as social distancing rules are followed, but restaurants and playgrounds will probably remain closed. Similarly, public events will not take place.
“I don’t think we can drop the restriction on performances, where a high number of people gather and the risk to pass on the virus is very high. The venues where a high number of people gather and spend a lot of time, at a short distance from one another, will reopen later,” the PM said.
He also included restaurants among venues with a high epidemiological risk. “It is clear one cannot wear a mask at lunch. It is very hard to ensure a distance between people who have lunch and isolation between various tables,” Orban commented.
He also explained that an assessment of the epidemiological risk is currently made concerning every restriction that is to be lifted.
Last week, president Klaus Iohannis announced that, starting May 15, the authorities would lift some of the restrictions imposed during the state of emergency to limit the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic. Romanians will be allowed to move freely after May 15. However, protection masks will become mandatory in all enclosed public spaces and public transport for as long as needed. Other restrictions, such as the ban on public events, will remain in force, the president said.
(Photo: George Calin/ Inquam Photos)