A roundup of domestic and international news.
CORONAVIRUS - Romanian authorities are today deciding if they place under quarantine in 12 localities in the southern county of Arges, including the towns of Pitesti and Mioveni. The number of new coronavirus infections in this county has exceeded 100 for the 4th consecutive day. The town of Faget and three nearby villages in Timis county, in the western part of Romania, are in lockdown for 14 days beginning on Sunday evening. Faget, where 47 cases were confirmed, is the third locality in Romania to go into lockdown after Cartojani in Giurgiu county and Gornet in Prahova county, in the south. The number of coronavirus cases in Romania gets close to 48,000, with more than 1,000 new cases reported on Sunday, for the fifth day in a row. More than 25,600 people have recovered and over 6,700 are in hospital, including 351 in intensive care. 22 new deaths were reported on Sunday, taking the death toll to 2,187. In another move, Romanians will no longer be able to travel to Cyprus for tourism, and if they travel for different purposes, they will be ordered to isolate for 14 days. It is now also obligatory to produce a negative Covid-19 test for travelers arriving in Greece from Romania by plane, not just for those arriving by road. The test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior. Travelers who have not had time to do the test before the new measure was introduced will be tested at the airport in Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday. New entry conditions are also in place for travelers arriving in Austria from Romania. A negative Covid-19 test must now be produced that was conducted 72 hours prior instead of 4 days prior, and the isolation period has been reduced from 14 to 10 days. These measures will remain in place at least until the end of September. Italy has also changed thek rules for travelers from Romania and Bulgaria, who are now ordered to isolate for 14 days on arriving in Italy.
UPDATE – An updated list of countries of high epidemiological risk is available as of today. People coming from these countries to Romania must quarantine for 14 days. The list includes 44 countries and regions considered to be in the yellow area. The list is available on the website of the National Public Health Institute. Quarantine is instated at the people’s residence, at another location indicated by them or at a location decided by the authorities. The list was last updated on July 7.
PARLIAMENT -The Parliament of Romania continues its special session this week. The agenda of the Senate includes a citizen initiative under which convicted criminals are no longer allowed to hold public office. Debates on this topic were postponed twice last week, due to the lack of quorum. The bill has already been endorsed by the Chamber of Deputies. Also discussed in the Senate’s expert committees will be the issue of the Romanian seasonal works who left for Germany from the International Airport of Cluj Napoca, in spite of the fact that a military order was in place. Ministers and seasonal workers have been summoned at the hearings.
BREXIT - The EU's top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is back in London, for a new round of post-Brexit trade talks. Barnier said on Thursday that a new trade agreement with the UK was unlikely to be forged by year-end, due to the country's unwillingness to agree on two key issues, namely, competition and fisheries. The UK left the European Union early this year but the transition period ends on January 1st 2021.
UKRAINE - A ceasefire backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskiy has entered into force in Ukraine today. This is the most recent reconciliation attempt in a series of failed peace efforts between government forces and the pro-Russian rebels. Putin expressed concerns over a recent bill in the Ukrainian parliament paving the way for regional elections in 20220, saying it runs "counter to the Minsk agreements" and puts "settlement prospects in jeopardy.” Kiev plans to hold regional elections in October all over the country except for the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Around 13 thousand people have been killed in the conflict, according to UN estimates. Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of direct involvement in the conflict. (Translated by Elena Enache)