COVID-19 As of Monday, a new stage in relaxing the coronavirus containment measures began in Romania. Outdoor restaurants and bars, as well as beaches, reopened on Monday, and some outdoor sports competitions were resumed, but without public. Also on Monday travel restrictions were lifted, both for domestic and international road and railway traffic. Shopping centres, schools, kindergartens and playgrounds remain closed however, and flights to and from certain countries continue to be grounded. Self-isolation or quarantine for travellers coming into the country is still compulsory. Over 19,400 coronavirus infection cases have been reported in Romania since the start of the pandemic, 3 months ago. Around 13,400 of them have recovered, and 1,276 died. Among the Romanians living abroad, the number of cases passed 3,100, with the death toll standing at 106.
EMPLOYMENT As of June 1, Romanian employers who decide to hire people over 50 years of age, under open-ended full time contracts, will be reimbursed by the government 50% of the employee’s salary, up to roughly 500 euros. The government decided to grant the same facility to companies that hire youth aged 16 to 29. Meanwhile, furlough will be paid in those sectors where the COVID-19 containment measures are to remain in place. The government has also decided to pay the employees who have been on furlough and return to work 41.5% of the basic salary, via their employers.
CHILDREN The president of Romania Klaus Iohannis said in a Children’s Day message on Monday that, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, children have made extraordinary efforts and adapted to online schooling, proving quite aware of the importance of education. He thanked children for being understanding and for protecting their families, especially their grandparents, who are the most vulnerable to this disease. President Iohannis called on all children to comply with safety and hygiene rules and be his allies in the fight against the virus, and assured them that this period will be overcome. Other public officials also posted messages on International Children’s Day.
STATISTICS The number of youth has dropped steadily in Romania over the past few years, the National Statistics Institute reports. Early this year, Romania had little over 4 million children, and 2019 was the first year when the number of newborns dropped under 200,000. Experts expect that by 2060 the number of preschoolers and children will be over 50% smaller than in 2015 in around half of Romania’s counties.
PANDEMIC The number of novel coronavirus cases worldwide is nearly 6.3 million. Of these, 2.85 million patients have recovered, and some 375,000 died. The country with the largest number of cases is the US, followed by Brazil, with over 500,000 cases, accounting for over half of the total number of cases in Latin America. In Europe the situation is begining to settle, with Britain, the country with the largest number of deaths (over 38,000) starting to lift containment measures on Monday. Groups of up to 6 people are allowed to meet as of Monday, with social distancing measures still in place. Italy, which at some point was the European country the worst hit by COVID-19, continues to ease restrictions, and authorities are focusing now on restarting tourism, which is a major sector of the Italian economy.
PROTESTS Clashes between protesters and police were reported in cities across the US, sparked by the killing of an African American citizen upon arrest. According to the BBC, violence was reported in tens of cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. In Washington, near the White House, police used tear gas against the protesters who set fire and threw rocks at the police forces.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)