President Klaus Iohannis has given assurances that Romania will not head back into a full lockdown after the parliamentary elections on the 6 of December.
Nine months after the first case of coronavirus was reported on its territory, Romania is in the plateau stage of the second wave of the pandemic. The alarming rise in the daily infection rate, registered two-three weeks ago, has been tempered by measures such as mandatory mask wearing both indoors and outdoors, travel restrictions during the night and online classes. A number of localities, with a sharp rise in infections, are in lockdown. People are divided over the need for lockdown. Some say restrictive measures are absolutely necessary, and that the state of emergency should have been again declared in the country, while others see the measures as abusive and say that the fact that 2020 is an election year in Romania is the only reason why a full lockdown hasn’t been imposed.
President Klaus Iohannis made some clarifications: “I want to be very clear about this – I do not plan to support the idea of nation-wide quarantine, the so-called lockdown, after the December 6 elections. We will continue to impose only local or regional restrictions, where the situation is serious and the number of infections is rising too much.”
At the end of a meeting during which regulations triggered by the pandemic were assessed, Iohannis pointed out that there is a clear tendency for a decrease in the number of infections at national level. The National Institute of Public Health has supplied concrete data proving that the measures taken by the authorities are effective, the head of state said, adding that people observed restrictions, which is a reason for optimism.
However, this is not the right time to ease measures, Iohannis also said, calling on people to further observe the measures in place and spend winter holidays only together with the people they share the home with. According to the president, Romania’s anti-Covid vaccination strategy will be approved during Friday’s government meeting, and adopted by the Higher Defence Council next week, most probably on Wednesday. He said he is in favour of the anti-Covid vaccination and reminded that at EU level vaccines will be distributed proportionally, depending on the size of the population in each member country. He voiced hope that when there is conclusive data regarding the vaccine, people will no longer be sceptical about it. According to a survey conducted by the Avangarde Group of Socio-Behavioural Studies, only 30% of Romanians would agree to get the vaccine against the novel coronavirus once available. (translated by Elena Enache)