Bucharest decides to extend the state of alert triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic by another 30 days
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to which the entire world is struggling to find solutions, and it is hard to estimate the exact duration of this difficult period which has changed everybody’s lives. The virus has impacted the healthcare system, but also the economy, the labour market and interpersonal relations.
The high spread rate of the coronavirus and its unfortunate consequences prompted the Government of Romania to extend the state of alert by another 30 days as of Thursday, to help contain and mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The state of alert, which has already been extended 4 times so far, was introduced in mid-May, after a 2-month state of emergency starting on March 16.
The Government order passed on Wednesday stipulates that face masks must be worn outdoors as well, 50 metres from schools and in crowded areas wherever there are up to 3 cases per thousand capita, whereas in places with over 3 cases per thousand inhabitants, outdoor face covering is compulsory.
Bucharest authorities have also announced the conditions in which restaurants and performance venues may operate. Here is state secretary with the Interior Ministry, Raed Arafat:
Raed Arafat: “In cases of up to 1.5 infections per thousand capita, restaurants, cafes, cinema halls and the like will run at 50% of the overall capacity. Between 1.5 and 3 cases per thousand, they may operate at 30% of their capacity, and for rates of over 3 infections per thousand capita, sadly these venues will be closed down.”
The ban on private events with large numbers of participants remains in place, Raed Arafat added, while for the upcoming election campaign indoor events with maximum 20 participants and outdoor events with maximum 50 participants are allowed. Raed Arafat also added that care centre personnel must be tested on a weekly basis by the relevant Public Health Directorate.
Meanwhile, citizens coming into Romania for up to 3 days must produce a negative COVID-19 test, and in case they intend to stay for longer periods they must self-isolate for 14 days. The list of high-risk countries includes the US, Spain, France, Netherlands, the UK and Belgium.
In recent days new negative records are reported in Romania, where daily infection numbers of over 4,000 have been reported already. Hundreds of patients are in intensive care, and scores of Romanians lose the battle against the virus every day. (translated by: A.M. Popescu)