Coronavirus: Romania institutes curfew

The restrictions on movement announced last week were only recommendations but will now become mandatory starting tomorrow, as Romania has instituted a curfew, President Klaus Iohannis announced today. In order to keep the situation under control and enforce the movement restrictions, the Army will complement the Police, Local Police, and Gendarmerie, he added.

The decision comes after a meeting between the President, PM Ludovic Orban and several ministers regarding management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Romanian authorities reported a spike of 186 cases of coronavirus in only 24 hours, the largest increase in diagnosed infections since Romania reported its first case on February 27. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 762, according to the latest data available.

The new restrictions especially target people aged 65 and older: They are prohibited from leaving their homes. Those who live in home isolation will be equipped with electronic devices so authorities can check on their location.

Although the National Committee for Emergency Situations announced a nightly curfew on March 21, the prefect of Máramaros/Maramureș County has decided to go with a full restriction on movement outdoors in order to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 (via EVZ). This measure is unprecedented in the country, but it makes sense, considering that some people – elderly included – spend too much time on the streets and unnecessarily visit locations where they could easily end up contracting COVID-19.

According to the prefect’s order, elaborated upon by the County Committee for Emergency Situations, the citizens of Máramaros County are prohibited from leaving home or walking in open areas, except if they are traveling:

  • for personal reasons, including between home and their place of professional activity and back;
  • for the provision of basic goods required by a person and/or pets or goods necessary for performing a professional activity;
  • for emergency healthcare services that are impossible to perform remotely.

When they leave their homes, citizens of the county must carry either a company ID, certificate issued by an employer, or prepared statement of self-certification. The curfew takes effect at midnight on March 25. The police, gendarmerie and local police forces will control entrance into the county by checking people’s ID and asking questions about their travel route and destination.

The curfew also contains a schedule for people aged 60+ years, granting them access to grocery and drug stores between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., while the rest of the population can access these stores from 11 a.m. until closing.

Title image: Pixabay

Author: István Fekete