Romanian Govt. approves additional restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19
The Romanian government approved on October 2 the decision introducing additional restrictions for localities with 14-day COVID-19 incidence rates higher than 6 per thousand. The decision was also published in the Official Gazette later the same day.
The measures aim to limit the spread of COVID-19, as Romania has seen a rapid rise in new cases over the past weeks. And this has put high pressure on the healthcare system, with intensive care units across the country running out of space for COVID-19 patients.
According to the decision approved on Saturday, access to certain activities is allowed only for people who were fully vaccinated or have already been infected. The exemptions no longer include those with negative tests.
According to the new regulations, in localities with a COVID-19 incidence rate higher than 6 per thousand, private events such as baptisms or weddings can be organized at half of capacity (but not more than 200 people) and only for people who were fully vaccinated or have recovered from the disease. Sports competitions and outdoor events can also be held, also for the two categories of people, at 50% capacity.
Access to cinemas, performance halls, theatres is also allowed at half capacity for vaccinated people and those who have recovered from infection. Meanwhile, restaurants or coffee shops can stay open between 5:00 and 24:00, at 50% of their maximum capacity. Shops, malls close at 22:00, offering only delivery/takeaway services after that hour, according to Biziday.ro.
Weekend curfews are also introduced in localities with COVID-19 incidence rates of over 6 per thousand, which means that those leaving their home between 20:00 and 05:00 need to present a form outlining the reasons for this. In localities with an infection rate of over 7.5 per thousand, the measure is valid all week. However, this movement restriction does not apply to those who were fully vaccinated or have already been infected.
Wearing a mask is also mandatory both in indoor and outdoor public spaces in localities with infection rates of over 6 per thousand. However, Raed Arafat, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), said on Saturday that there would also be some exceptions from this rule, which are to be detailed in a joint order of the Health and Interior Ministries.
In Bucharest, according to a decision of the capital’s Committee for Emergency Situations, wearing a mask is mandatory in crowded public spaces such as markets, fairs, public transport stations, commercial areas or at the workplace, News.ro reported. People also have to wear a mask when travelling by bus, tram, subway, or other means of public transport.
Meanwhile, bars and clubs in Bucharest are also closed, as the incidence rate in the city is higher than 6 per thousand (on Monday, the infection rate in the city climbed to 9.64 per thousand).
Thousands of people protested against the restrictions in Bucharest on Saturday. A protest organized by the AUR party was held in Universitatii Square, while another one, organized by “Legiunea lupilor,” took place in Victoriei Square, according to G4media.ro. Later during the day, the protesters from Universitatii Square joined the ones in Victoriei Square and later marched to Cotroceni Palace.
Similar protests were also organized in other cities across the country.
(Photo source: Gov.ro)