Romania suspends exports of medicines as coronavirus cases reach 47

Some persons have started to lie when making statements at the border to avoid being quarantined. Authorities have nonetheless warned that such behaviour could lead to severe fines and possibly even criminal charges. [EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT]

The Romanian government has decided to suspend exports of medicines and other health products for the next six months as 18 new cases were reported on Thursday (12 March) bringing to 47 the total number of persons infected with the new coronavirus.

Bucharest has already decided to close schools and many other public activities have already been cancelled. On top of that, most universities are starting to switch to online courses, theatres are cancelling their performances or announcing web-only shows, and several public services are preparing to operate only online.

It also issued recommendations to companies to reorganise their work programme to ensure staff enter and leave their workplaces at different times. 

Because of the coronavirus crisis, several thousands of people faced delays at borders due to new paperwork. Some people have reportedly started to lie when making statements at the border to avoid being quarantined. Authorities have warned that such behaviour could lead to severe fines and possibly even criminal charges.

Tourism and businesses 

When it comes to the tourism sector, restaurants have been reporting huge drops in customer numbers, while hotels have been facing multiple cancellations and have seen considerably lower occupancy rates so far in March, according to associations.

Employers in the tourism industry asked the government for financial support, including delays in the payment of taxes, but also for quicker reimbursement for services offered to clients working for the state.

Government officials, together with representatives of agencies and regulators, met with business associations to discuss measures to help ease the economic burden of the coronavirus epidemic.

An inter-institutional working group should define plans to support businesses, while also encouraging companies to support parents who need to tend for their kids during school suspension with flexible work programmes, teleworking and online tools to minimise personal contact.

[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos/Zoran Radosavljevic]

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