Covid - In Romania, the government has approved a decision under which people vaccinated against COVID and those who have recovered from the disease in the last six months are exempted from several restrictions that apply in localities where the incidence rate threshold exceeds 6 cases per thousand inhabitants. Bucharest and over 30 other cities across Romania, as well as more than 200 communes are in this situation. Public and private events can take place in these localities only with a low participation rate, access being allowed only to vaccinated people or people who have recovered from the disease, who will have to wear protective masks. These two categories are also allowed to go to restaurants or gyms, as well as to travel during the weekend or night quarantine. The new regulations were a source of dissatisfaction for thousands of people who took to the streets on Saturday without keeping the physical distance, without wearing protective masks and without respecting the limit of participation in such demonstrations. The protesters marched through the center of the capital, protested in front of the Government headquarters and, later, some of them went to the Presidential Palace. They chanted messages against vaccination and the introduction of the green certificate and also demanded the resignation of the government, of the head of the Committee for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, and of president Iohannis. The protests took place on the day with the highest number of Covid cases reported in Romania - almost 12,600. Over 8,700 new cases were reported on Sunday and 150 Covid-associated deaths. 1,440 people are in ICUs. The high number of contaminations boosted the vaccination campaign, with tens of doses being administered daily.
USR-PLUS - Dacian Cioloş, the president elect of the Save Romania Union - USR PLUS party (former no. 2 in the governing coalition), says that although the team he represented does not have a majority in the party's new National Bureau, he wants decisions to be made based on common goals, and not depending on team membership. The team of his opponent, Dan Barna, won most of the votes in the elections for the National Bureau, has 14 vice president positions, while the team of the new president, Dacian Cioloş, has 8 such mandates in the party’s national leadership. The Congress continues with debates exclusively in online format, on the changes to be made to the party's statute, including the duration of the president's term in office. Dacian Cioloş wants a mandate limited to two years and announces that, otherwise, he will resign in 2023, and will organize a congress in which he wants validation as presidential candidate and will establish the strategy for the elections scheduled for next year.
Rome – In Italy, more than 12 million eligible voters are called to the polls on Sunday and Monday in about 1,200 localities, including major cities such as Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples, Bologna and Trieste, where partial local elections are being held. There is also a vote for a new governor in Calabria. More than 120 Romanians, the highest number reported so far, are running for the positions of councilor in these local elections. Romanians, who make up the largest community of foreigners in Italy, have the right to vote and be elected councilors in their cities of residence. They also rely on the votes of Italians, especially since very few Romanians will be able to vote, as they do not have a voter ID card.
Visa – The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not rule out issuing several temporary visas in an effort to help address the shortage of tanker drivers, which has led to a shortage of fuel at the pumps. British authorities said last week that they would issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers and 5,500 poultry farm workers to try to address the acute labor force shortage, which has led to a disruption in fuel supplies to petrol stations and created difficulties in food production. The British Road Haulage Association (RHA) reports that the country is facing a shortage of about 100,000 drivers due to the departure of industry workers, to the pandemic – which for almost a year prevented the training and testing of drivers - and to the post-Brexit immigration rules. As of 1 October, the EU citizens can only enter the UK based on a passport stamped with work, study or tourist visas.
List - The updated list of countries and territories with high epidemiological risk has come into force on Sunday. Romania is now in the red zone, along with the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Armenia, Belarus and Greenland. The National Committee for Emergency Situations has decided to exempt from quarantine the drivers of goods and passenger vehicles, if they provide a negative RealTime-PCR test result. Germany has also revised the conditions for entering this country - thus, people arriving from Romania can enter the territory of Germany only if they have a negative COVID test, if they are vaccinated or if they have recovered from the disease. Documents must be written in one of the languages: German, English, French, Italian or Spanish and may be submitted in physical or electronic format. (LS)