Romania introduces sweeping new Covid restrictions, curfew as cases, deaths soar

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Romania will close schools, impose a curfew for unvaccinated people and a ban on sporting competitions and wedding and christening parties as cases soared to record highs.

Green passes will become mandatory in many public places, in state institutions and offices. People who have been tested or can show they have had the virus in the last six months will also be allowed access.

President Klaus Iohannis who called the situation “catastrophic” this month says the measures are necessary with more than 200 deaths a day since October 5 while new cases have topped 15,000 for the past four days.

“Why should we pay attention to people who spout nonsense on Facebook,” he said Friday in Brussels.

„The situation is very complicated in Romania…. a tragedy…. Hospitals are overfull, and health staff are at the end of their tether as they work non-stop. There are no more p[laces in Intensive Care.”

On Friday, the Strategic Communication Group reported 15,410 cases and 348 deaths.

Under the restrictions to begin Monday, shops and restaurants will close at 9pm. Restaurants and bars and coffee shops will also close at 9pm and will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

Public and private schools will close for two weeks starting Oct. 25, acting Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu said.

For the next 30 days, unvaccinated people will not be allowed to leave their homes after 9pm. There will be some exceptions such as emergency medical situations, looking after an elderly person or for international travel.

Only people with vaccine certificates will be allowed to attend events and leisure activities for the next 30 days, the National Committee for Emergency Situations said.

Masks will become mandatory in all public places, at work and on public transport.

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