Romania’s president announces substantial relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions
Romania will start to implement substantial relaxation of the restrictions imposed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the following month, president Klaus Iohannis announced on Thursday, May 13.
“We are already preparing for post-pandemic Romania. If we all get vaccinated, the pandemic will decline and end,” president Iohannis said, quoted by G4Media.ro.
Starting May 15, people will no longer be obliged to wear masks in outdoor public places, the night curfew will end and the stores will return to their normal opening hours, Iohannis announced.
As of June 1, the authorities will allow more participants to public and private events, such as sports matches and weddings. Moreover, there will be no more limitations on the number of people who can attend such events if the organizer can make sure that all the participants are vaccinated.
While the current restrictions on the functioning of local schools will remain in place, the president said he was confident that all the students would be able to return to school by the end of the school year.
Iohannis spoke about a gradual relaxation of the restrictions over the summer, by September 1, when these measures will be reevaluated. “This relaxation is conditioned by two extremely important factors - on the one hand, the evolution of the pandemic and, obviously, to be measured by the incidence rate, on the other hand, the vaccination rate,” he explained.
The president’s statements come after a significant drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last month. On May 13, the Romania authorities reported 953 new cases of COVID-19 infection and the rolling 14-day incidence rate at country level dropped under 1 per 1,000 inhabitants. Only 12 of Romania’s 41 territorial units (40 counties + Bucharest) had incidence rates of over 1, but all of them were under 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants.
The number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition treated in ATI units has also reduced significantly, reaching 829 on Thursday, May 14, down from over 1,400 in early April.
Meanwhile, the number of vaccinated people was closed to 3.8 million, of whom 2.62 million had both doses. The authorities aim to reach 5 million vaccinated people by June 1, according to Iohannis, although this number probably refers to people vaccinated with at least one dose.
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)