Life after lockdown in Romania. No icon kissing, masks on the subway, and temperature checks at the barbers

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romanian health authorities have released a document showing how life will look like after a strict lockdown in Romania that was imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

President Klaus Iohannis has already told Romanians that it won’t be “back to normal” after the state of emergency ends next week, but there will be a gradual relaxation of restrictions that came into effect during the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Institute of Public Health published a 13-page document Saturday that outlines if not the “new normal,’’ at least the temporary measures which will be put in place starting May 15 to stop further outbreaks of COVID-19.

It says school is closed for the rest of the school year, except for those doing the Baccalaureat and  pupils taking pre high school exams. Students will attend classes lasting a maximum of three hours.

Some pupils will be barred from these classes, such as those with chronic illnesses or pupils who live with the over-65s. Classes will be a maximum of 10 students.

There will be a triage at hospitals to determine whether any patients are suspected of having coronavirus. Patients suspected of being infected will be obliged to wear a mask and admitted to a ward with a maximum of two people, and at least two meters between them.

After May 15, it will be compulsory to wear masks on all public transport.

People going to the barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons will have to wear masks and have temperature checks. Staff will wear a mask and gloves and disinfect after every client. Salons will be aired every two hours.

Hotels will re-open, but restaurants, bars and coffee shops will stay closed. There will be room service with disposable cutlery for guests.

Church services still aren’t open to worshipers, but small groups can visit the church when priests aren’t officiating. Open-air services will be allowed.

Icon kissing isn’t allowed, and priests will use disposable spoons and cups for communion. Priests can bless believers, as long as they are one-meter away.

Baptisms, wedding blessings and funerals can take place with a maximum of 16 people who respect social distancing rules.

What will stay the same? For the moment, malls and restaurants will remain closed. No demonstrations, sporting events or cultural events, such as plays or movies in an enclosed space.

On Saturday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases was 15,131 while the death count was 926.


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