Romania introduces new powers to enforce lockdown rules, heavy fines for members of the public and companies

Romania’s government is hiking fines for people who break lockdown rules as authorities battle to contain the spread of the killer virus.

Members of the public who flout the rules introduced this week can be fined up to 20,000 lei under the new regulations, four times the initial amount. For companies, the fines have also increased, ranging from 10,000 to 70,000 lei.

Ionel Danca, who heads the prime minister’s chancellery, made the announcement on Friday as authorities step up measures in their fight against the growing virus epidemic.

Romania reported 1,292 infections on Friday, a record spike of 263 new cases in the past days. The virus has killed 24 people, most of them elderly with underlying health conditions.

The new fines come after President Klaus Iohannis put in place a strict lockdown on Wednesday in response to the growing crisis.

Under the lockdown, people are only allowed to go out for work, buying necessary food, medical emergencies and some exercise. People need to complete and carry a signed form with them.

People aged 65 are only allowed out between 11 am and  1pm every day, except in the case of medical emergencies.

Police, the Gendarmerie, or riot police and the Army are on the streets to make sure people comply with the new strict rules.

Iohannis decreed a 30-day state of emergency on March 16 to give authorities extra powers in response to the virus outbreak.


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