Covid-19 Ro – 3,400 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been reported following the testing of 29,400 people across Romania, the Strategic Communication Group in Bucharest announced on Tuesday. A total of 186,254 people have been infected in Romania since the coronavirus outbreak. 65 new deaths have been reported, which takes the total death toll to 5,996. At present 768 patients are in intensive care. Bucharest and Cluj are now in the ‘red-code scenario’ due to the high rate of contamination reported in the past two weeks, namely more than 3 cases per one thousand inhabitants. For two weeks kindergartens, schools and high schools will go online, while after school childcare facilities and nurseries will remain open. Universities are to decide on the way in which courses will unfold. Face masks are now compulsory in all public spaces, open or enclosed. All indoor activities are suspended in restaurants, cafes, cinema and theater halls, and in casinos.
Working group - Romania and the United States will have a common working group for the inclusion of Romanians in the Visa Waiver program, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu has announced after his meeting in Washington with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The two officials have also tackled the U.S.'s involvement, including financially, in projects such as the one connecting the region's north with its south, which also includes Romania, Via Carpathia and the railway linking the ports of Constanta and Gdansk, in northern Poland, with economic benefits and a strategic impact over military mobility. The U.S. also plans to beef up its military presence in Romania.
Theater – The director of the Hungarian State Theater in Cluj (northwestern Romania), Gábor Tompa was reelected president of the Union of the Theaters of Europe, for a 2-year mandate, as part of the Union general assembly held online. The Union of the Theaters of Europe, which celebrates 30 years since its setting up in 2020, focuses on cultural and linguistic diversity and is the initiator of sustainable forms of international cooperation.
CCR – Romania’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday rejected the Ombudsman’s notification in relation to two articles in the Law on the setting up of measures in situations of epidemiological and biological risk. The ombudsman claimed that the measure of compulsory hospitalization for at least 48 hours of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 did not observe the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Constitutional Court. The ombudsman also considered that the measure of compulsory hospitalization represents a deprivation of one’s freedom, and should be a last-resort measure, after the use of all the other remedies. The Ombudsman also contested the article in the quarantine law which allows medical staff posting, under which the authorities are allowed to extend this transfer of physicians and specialized auxiliary medical staff for as long as they want.
Brussels – Romanians are among the EU citizens most convinced that community funds should be conditioned on the observance of the rule of law. No less than 82% of Romanians said they agreed with this conditioning, a percentage that places Romania on 4th position, in a survey conducted upon the request of the EP. Romania is preceded in the classification by Cyprus (89%), Luxembourg (86%) and Austria (83%) and is sharing the 4th place with Greece. In Hungary and Poland, the states that are opposed to the conditioning of EU funds allotment on the observance of the rule of law, only 72% of the people support the idea. Across the EU 77% of the citizens are in favor of this idea.
Elections – The Electoral Bureau for the Diaspora announces that the candidacies submitted by 8 political groups and two independents for a seat in Romania’s Parliament have remained definitive. The parliamentary elections abroad will take place on December 5th and 6th. The Permanent Electoral Authority reminds the Romanian citizens with their domicile or residence abroad that the deadline for registration for a postal vote is October 22. More than 30 thousand Romanians from abroad have so far signed up for a postal vote, mostly from the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France. (update by L. Simion)