Hundreds take to streets in Romania for 7th day to protest virus restrictions

Anti-mask protest, Bucharest, April 3, 2021. Inquam photos.
Anti-mask protest, Bucharest. April 3, 2021. Inquam photos

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Romania for a seventh day running to protest the latest Covid restrictions that took effect after cases soared in Romania.

They yelled “Down with the government!” and “Freedom!” in the Romanian capital and marched through the city holding Romanian flags and banners and blowing vuvuzelas.

There was a smaller protest in the Black Sea port of Constanta. The turnout at Saturday’s protests was much lower than at the beginning of the week.

Some people weren’t wearing masks which have been compulsory in public places for months. Demonstrators crowded together, disregarding physical distancing rules.

In Bucharest, people carried banners including one that said: “We don’t want out air to be rationed.”

Under current regulations, restaurants and shops in Bucharest have to close at 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. There is an 8 p.m. curfew over the weekend in the capital. During the week, restaurants and shops can stay open until 9 p.m.

In places where cases are more than 7.5 per 1,000 people, there is an 8 p.m. curfew and shops close at 6 p.m. every day.

Romania reported about 5,500 new cases on Saturday, the lowest single-day figure since March 29, but fewer tests were also carried out.

There were 147 deaths in the past 24 hours and a 1,448  Covid patients were in intensive care, the second highest rate ever..

Hundreds marched from University Square to the government offices in Victory Square on Saturday evening, in the seventh consecutive day of anti-restrictions protests.

Demonstrators waved flags and blew vuvuzelas. Hospitality workers brought frying pans and cooking pots to express their grievances.

The hospitality sector has been hard hit by the crisis, as tourism has dried up and restaurants have closed.

Police said no fines had been handed out.


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