Romanian police handed out dozens of fines in the capital on Wednesday evening in shops and restaurants as new restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus came into effect.
Police said they had carried 127 checks throughout the capital and had handed out 56 fines of 90,000 lei, about 19,000 euros in three hours.
The number of Covid-19 infections has risen in the capital and is now 6,322 cases per 1,000 inhabitants recorded over a rolling 14-day period.
There were just under 1,100 new cases on Wednesday in the city of 2 million.
The government has ruled out a lockdown for Bucharest at this time which would be costly and complicated and politically unpopular.
However, authorities are mulling further measures such as shortening the opening hours of stores and malls.
President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday said he wasn’t in favor of a lockdown and would prefer extra measures “where there are crowds.”
“Probably the opening hours of shops and malls will have to be changed,” he said.
Authorities on Wednesday stepped up checks to ensure compliance of existing restrictions.
“We focused on all the different
areas of the capital, better known and less known areas. We want to be sure
that whatever the district, a few simple rules have to be respected: masks,
physicals distancing and disinfecting hands.
“We all want to return to a normal life and we have to unite efforts, because only together we can succeed,” police said in a statement.
Romanian reported 6,136 new coronavirus cases and 137 Covid-19-related deaths. Another record for patients in intensive care was set on Wednesday, with 1,351 in ICU, straining the underfunded health service.
In other Covid-related news, vaccine coordinator Valeriu Gheorhgita said that people had “a normal attitude” to the AstraZeneca vaccine after an earlier scare that linked the jab to blood clots.
Dr Gheorhgita said that 80,000 people had canceled appointments to be inoculated, but attitudes had changed after the European Medicines Agency said the vaccine didn’t pose a health risk.