Romania almost goes back into ‘full lockdown’

A young Romanian couple wearing face masks walk together in the Old Town district of Bucharest, Romania, 04 August 2020. [EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT]

Schools will be closed all over the country, mobility will be restricted during night time and shops will close at 9pm, announced Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday after presiding over the government meeting in which the tighter regulations were discussed. The new rules will be enforced as of Monday, said Prime Minister Ludovic Orban.

There is a need for firmer measures, said Iohannis as Romania set a new record in the number of new daily COVID-19 infections.

After favouring regional and local restrictions, the president said national measures were now needed.

All schools will have to switch to online classes, while both companies and public institutions are to revert to teleworking where possible.

“Shops need to close at 9pm at the latest. Mobility during the night must be restricted. Parties, both public and private, must be forbidden. Fairs and markets must be closed,” said Iohannis at the start of the government meeting.

The head of state also said that wearing masks should be made compulsory in indoor and outdoor spaces all over the country, adding that companies should adapt their work schedules so as not to overcrowd public transport.

However, the president insisted the general elections should still be held this year, despite the increasing number of infections, noting that the country’s authorities want to avoid shutting down the economy again.

On Thursday, Romanian authorities reported 9,714 new daily COVID-19 infections, a stark increase compared to last week’s 5,000 average. Since the start of the pandemic, Romania recorded almost 277,000 COVID-19 infections and 7,540 related deaths.

(Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)

 

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