Romania’s foreign ministry says it has repatriated 189 Romanian nationals from Spain, Egypt and Malta as flights are suspended and Europe prepares to go into coronavirus lockdown.
The ministry said 74 Romanians had been brought back from Malta, and 26 from Egypt. A further 89 citizens were repatriated from Spain on Thursday morning, as part of efforts to allow Romanians to come home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry appealed to Romanians to avoid all but „absolutely essential travel” and called on tourists and other travelers on short-terms stays to return urgently.
„The foreign ministry appeals to Romanians to show understanding and responsibility and to responsibly evaluate the opportunity of foreign travel at this time. Such journeys can involve major risk, and put people’s safety at risk.”
There are between 3 and 5 million Romanians living abroad. More than one millions nationals are in Italy and Spain, which have the most infections and deaths in Europe.
The ministry also called on Romanians living abroad to avoid traveling to Romania, saying they could transit countries with large numbers of cases of the novel coronavirus which would „endanger people’s safety at home.”