Following almost four months of lockdown, Romania has been easing certain lockdown restrictions. Restaurants will likely reopen this week or next.
The government is acting as thousands of jobs were at risk of being lost if restaurants didn’t reopen.
Restaurants will reopen on July 9 or 15, Profit.ro reported on Monday. Outdoor restaurants were allowed to reopen last month, but they have only a fraction of the customers of indoor restaurants.
Restaurants in Romania must reopen in a “covid secure” way, which will involve more hand washing, disposable menus and table service.
Customers will be encouraged to book online and there will be a maximum of six diners at one table, except when they are all from the same household.
Venues will be expected to keep a register of visitors’ contact details in case they are needed for test and tracing in the event of an outbreak.
The reopening comes amid a spike in coronavirus cases, largely caused by the relaxation of other restrictions and people not complying with lockdown rules, such as wearing masks and social distancing.
Last week, restaurant owners claimed the reopening would come “in a matter of days,” the HoReCa industry association HORA, Daniel Mischie told Agerpres.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who is said to favor reopening on July 15, has made it clear that the indoor restaurants would be allowed to reopen to customers after procedures are in place, and managers show they will enforce them.
Orban also pointed to the overcrowded outdoor spaces that frequently fail to comply with the regulations.
However, even if allowed, some 30%-40% of the restaurants would not have enough resources to resume operations, industry representatives claimed.