RO economy minister says he cannot ignore health recommendations and reopen indoor restaurants
Economy minister Virgil Popescu said he couldn’t ignore the health argument that the highest likelihood of getting infected with the coronavirus is inside a restaurant, Agerpres reported.
The minister urged caution and said indoor restaurants should wait another two weeks for a decision on their reopening.
“I am the economy minister. I want the economy to restart as soon as possible. I want the economy to get over this pandemic. Still, I cannot ignore the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health, of the Health Ministry, of the doctors, who tell us that the highest likelihood of getting infected with the coronavirus is inside the restaurants. I think it is best to wait for another two weeks. We set July 1 as a deadline,” Popescu said.
He called the Social Democrat Party (PSD) call for a quick reopening of the restaurants “populist.”
“We should not interfere with what the specialists say and, if they recommend it, I think we should listen to them,” Popescu said when asked about PSD’s decision to vote against extending the state of alert in the absence of specific measures concerning the reopening of restaurants.
All restaurant owners currently benefit from the reopening of terraces, the minister said.
“If we all follow the rules, the restaurants will reopen on July 1. That is when the actual tourist season starts in Romania,” he said.
The minister ruled out a comparison between Romania and other countries in Western Europe because these are two and ahead weeks ahead.
“In my opinion, if the National Institute for Public Health tells us there is a danger, we should listen, because we saw what happened over the weekend. You saw that the number of coronavirus cases has been growing in the past six days. […] Let’s be patient; it won’t be long until we can go to a restaurant, indoor or outdoor, wherever we choose,” he said.
(Photo: Ministerul Economiei, Energiei şi Mediului de Afaceri-România Facebook Page)