Romanian parties draft bill to cancel COVID-19 lockdown fines

inquam-photo-bucuresti-covid19-verificari-interdictie-deplasare-23-martie, Octav Ganea

Three Romanian parties have drafted a bill to cancel hundreds of thousands of fines handed out to people for breaking COVID19 lockdown rules.

The Constitutional Court ruled this week the penalties were void as they failed to specify what level of fine should be issued for a specific violation.

But Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis defended them on Thursday, saying they successfully kept Romanians at home, and slowed the spread of the virus.

“Without them, we’d be grieving for many more dead today,” he said.

Romania has confirmed 14,500 cases of coronavirus and almost 900 deaths.

Following the court ruling, the Social Democrats, Pro-Romania and the Alliance of Liberal Democrats announced they will submit a bill to cancel the penalties. The parties have a parliamentary majority.

Interior Minister Marcel Vela said this week that some 300,000 fines have been issued, totaling about 600 million lei.

Romanians need to fill out forms when they leave home explaining why they are out, which is allowed for a limited number of reasons. If they fail to show a form, they can fined between 2,000 and 20,000 lei.

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban who heads the Liberal minority government said that the court decision shocked him as it benefited a small minority that didn’t respect the law.

„We will look for a legal way to allow the authorities to fight against those who do not respect the rules and endanger other citizens,” he said.


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