Mask up. Romanian authorities eye Bucharest’s Old Town, Medieval city of Brasov for compulsory face coverings

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

More and more places In Romania are making it mandatory to wear face masks in public after a surge in new cases in recent weeks.

In the past eight days, the number of infections exceeded 1,000 new daily cases, bringing the total to over 48,000. The country also reported 2,269 deaths so far.

Local authorities have already made it compulsory to wear masks in crowded outdoor places in some counties which have seen a spike in coronavirus cases.

It is mandatory to wear face mask outside across the southern county of Arges, the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Other counties, such as Dambovita and Valcea in south and central Romania says the public needs to put on masks in outdoor crowded places starting this weekend.

For the first time, authorities will impose masks in the capital, but only in certain areas, which are known for crowds.

Deputy mayor Aurelian Badulescu told Radio Free Europe that starting Monday, masks would become mandatory in the pedestrian part of the Old Town, a popular tourist destination.

“It’s a risk area, “ he said as you can see on CCTV cameras. “We’re always worried about this area, with a high density (of people), limited area to move around,” he said.

Other areas will be taken into consideration depending on crowd number he said.

Masks are already mandatory in enclosed public places while restaurants and bars can serve their clients only outdoors with no more than four people at the same table.

Masks may become compulsory in parts of the Transylvanian city of Brasov, in outdoor markets, fairs and craft fairs, authorities told Radio Free Europe.

Brasov county has recorded 2,933 cases, of which 49 in the past day.

Emergency committee in the eastern county of Galati also decided to make masks compulsory in “crowded places” for everyone older than 5 starting August 1.

Prahova county which stretches from the plains of southern Romania into the Carpathian mountains may also make mask wearing mandatory after it registered 101 news cases on Wednesday.

Romania on Wednesday adopted new measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, including shortening working hours for bars and restaurants.  

Local authorities will decide exactly where it will be mandatory to wear masks in the open, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said, mentioning places like markets and train platforms.

„We are in a critical moment and measures to protect the population are very important right now”, President Klaus Iohannis told reporters on Wednesday.

Last week, regional authorities also decided to quarantine several villages and one small town, barring people from leaving or entering, with very few exceptions.


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