Romania’s prime minister has clarified the starting date for a curfew and other restrictions which are designed to curb a rise in Covid-19 cases.
Florin Citu said Friday the new measures aimed to stem a spike which has seen daily tallies of more than 6,000 will come into effect on Sunday and not Friday as some had assumed.
The prime minister said he’d pressed the pause button to give companies, such as shops and restaurants, time to organize themselves.
„Today (the new rules) will be published in the Official Gazette,” he said. “But seeing that there hasn’t been much time for companies to prepare for them…. we’ve decided these measures will be applied from Sunday, March 28,” he said on Facebook.
The recent rise in cases is adding pressure to underfunded state hospitals, already struggling to cope with extra patients.
Under the new restrictions, there will be an 8 p.m. curfew on Friday to Sunday and shops will shut at 6 p.m. on those days in places where there are more than 4 cases per 1,000 people.
Movement will be restricted from 8 p.m. throughout the week in towns with more than 7.5 cases per 1,000 people.
The government has stopped short declaring a strict lockdown in Bucharest, a city of more than 2 million. It would be a politically unpopular move and complicated to enforce.
Cases stayed high on Friday, with 6,516 new infections nationwide and 116 virus-related deaths.
In other coronavirus-related news, authorities updated the quarantine list for foreign travelers.
Great Britain has been removed from the list. Visitors from Hungary, Poland, Cyprus, Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands will need to quarantine upon arrival.
Daily cases have risen to over 6,000 on many days since mid-March, with a surge in the capital and surrounding areas.