The Romanian capital has re-entered the „red scenario” after a sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases, triggering fresh restrictions in the city of 2 million.
Authorities voted for a lockdown in the western city of Timisoara where cases have soared in recent weeks. Shopping malls will be closed at the weekend and residents will need to fill out a form when they go out.
The municipal Committee for Emergency Situations said the new lockdown would start midnight Sunday after the increase which began starting Wednesday.
Bucharest posted more than 900 cases for the past two days, after a month when cases rarely topped 500.
Some schools will close and students will revert to remote learning. Restaurants and bars will also shut as will theaters, cinemas and betting shops.
Restaurants can operate a take-away service and can serve customers if they have outdoor seating, as many do.
The announcement came after Bucharest posted an infection rate of 3.12 per 1,000 residents on Saturday, a slight rise from the previous day. On Thursday Bucharest was still in the „yellow scenario” with 2.79 cases per 1,000.
The county of Timis had an infection rate of 5.42 per 1,000, higher than any other county. Timisoara, a city of about 310,000 had 7.49 cases per 1,000 on Saturday. The new restrictions will begin at midnight Sunday.
Despite the new restrictions, kindergartens and primary schools will remain open in the capital. Students in the eighth, twelfth and thirteenth years who are preparing for crucial exams can physically attend schools, as long as they respect pandemic rules of maintaining a distance and wearing face masks.
The new restrictions will last a fortnight. Face masks are mandatory in all public places, including for children over 5.