Authorities eye closing restaurants in the Romanian capital as Covid-19 cases soar

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romanian public health authorities have proposed closing restaurants to the public and banning private parties with more than 50 people in cafes and elsewhere after Covid-19 cases soared in Bucharest.

The capital reported 562 cases on Monday, the second time in a week when there have been more than 500 cases in a single day.

Bucharest has posted 2,152 new cases in the past week and a cumulative total of 19,389 since the pandemic began.

The spike came after schools reopened on Sept. 14 and Romania held municipal elections on Sept. 27.

On Monday evening, the Bucharest Public Health Directorate  sent a recommendation to the Bucharest Committee for Emergency Situations that  restaurants were closed and private parties in restaurants and bars  with more than 50 people banned.

Romania reopened outdoor restaurants in June and allowed restaurants with indoor seating to reopen in August.

In the latest proposal, health authorities also recommended mandatory masks near schools and a ban on religious processions or people waiting around churches. There are various religious festivals in the autumn attended by thousands of mainly elderly people.

In the northeastern city of Iasi, which has seen a spike in cases, restaurants, cinemas and cafes have been shut and plays and other events have been canceled.

Bucharest has an infection rate of 1.86 per 1,000 residents for the last fortnight.

The Committee for Emergency Situations will decide what extra restrictions on Tuesday.


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