Romanian authorities explain what is going to happen when the restrictions imposed during the state of emergency are relaxed
We are approaching May 15th, when the state of emergency in Romania ends. The measure, taken on March 16th in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, brought about a number of measures that have impacted the population, which included restricting citizens' rights, such as freedom of movement. Late last month, authorities had warned that a potential relaxation of the restrictions would not mean resuming our way of living as it was before the pandemic. What does this mean?
State Secretary Raed Arafat, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations, mentioned on Sunday night some of the things that are going to change after May 15th, once the measures enforced to limit the spread of the coronavirus get more relaxed. He said on TV that one of the things that were certain was that citizens would have to wear protective masks on public transport and avoid crowds as much as possible.
Raed Arafat: "What is clear is that wearing a mask will be compulsory on buses and on the means of transport that connect towns and cities. I know that it has been said already that this will no longer be just a recommendation. If you don't wear a mask, the driver will not let you get on. Then, if I, for instance, I'm in the company car and I'm with the driver, so I am not driving the car myself, I have to wear a mask. If I am alone, I don't need to wear the mask, I just keep it next to me. This must become a habit for us all. One should not just come and say "I will fine you if you don't wear a mask", that's not the point."
One of the proposals set forth by Raed Arafat as an alternative measure to prevent crowding is an increase in the number of public means of transport, both on the ground and underground, as well as different work schedules for various categories of employees. Raed Arafat believes that protective masks should also be worn in shops. Also, citizens should get used to having their temperature checked at work or when going to places such as museums. Relaxation will take place gradually and authorities will monitor the impact of the new measures, Arafat also said.
In the meantime, authorities are considering all potential scenarios for after May 15th, when the state of emergency ends. "We now have all scenarios on the table, including a decision to extend the state of emergency, or to declare a state of alert, which would allow authorities to take milder restrictive measures", Ionel Dancă, the head of the PM's Chancellery has stated. He has also said that one possibility is ending the state of emergency and conducting a comprehensive information campaign among the population, so that the degree of compliance with the recommendations made by authorities is very high. (M.Ignatescu)