The Romania authorities placed Facsád/Făget, a small city in Banat and three surrounding villages, under lockdown on Sunday evening, the Temes (Timiș) County Prefect announced. The authorities in Bucharest approved the request of the local authorities to establish the quarantine after 47 residents became infected with COVID-19 in the last couple of days.
Facsád, a small city in Banat with approximately 7,000 residents, is the first town to be placed under lockdown since the Romanian Government adopted the new quarantine law. The measure was justified by the fact that 47 new coronavirus cases were identified in the settlements in recent days, and a large number of people have been in direct contact with those infected. The city was quarantined by a decision of the local Inspectorate for Emergency Situations; their measure was confirmed by the General Inspectorate in Bucharest.
The lockdown means that the city and the three settlements – Kisbékés/Bichigi, Temeres/Temereşti and Facsádkistelep/Colonia Mică – are re-entering the state of emergency for 14 days, but with fewer restrictions, Marcel Avram, Mayor of Facsád, told Digi24. Thus, the locals are free to go wherever they wish in the city or villages to work and shop, without the obligation to fill out a declaration form, like during the state of emergency. The local public transportation will also continue to operate. However, unnecessary traffic and travel are limited, there are police and gendarmerie control points at every entrance to and exit from the settlements, and all those entering or leaving must be verified as well as prove the urgency of their travel. People must also respect normal safety regulations, such as wearing masks in closed public spaces and maintaining social distance.
The local committee for emergency situations may introduce other measures to force people to stay inside for as long as possible.
Only freight traffic may enter and leave the settlements, as well as non-locals who are engaged in economic activity or are working in home affairs, military, energy, public health, food and agriculture, local administration, social assistance, the judiciary and public utilities; travel to a university for the admission process is also allowed. The residents of the settlements under lockdown may also leave, but only if they work outside the quarantined area and can prove it with documentation; if they work in agriculture; to take care or help children, family members, the elderly, the sick, or people with disabilities; or in the case of the death of a family member. Medical emergencies and medical assistance also override the lockdown.
Facsád is the third settlement in Romania to go into lockdown after Cartojani in Giurgiu County and Gornet in Prahova County.
The Strategic Communication Group announced on Monday that in the previous 24 hours, 1,104 new coronavirus cases had been registered, bringing the total number of infected people to 45,902. From Sunday to Monday, 19 people infected with the coronavirus died in Romania, so the death toll now stands at 2,206.
Title image (illustration): There are police and gendarmerie control points at every entrance to and exit from the settlements under lockdown. Photo: www.opiniatimisoarei.ro