Criminal record and harsher punishments for liars and quarantine dodgers

The government has modified the Criminal Code by adopting an emergency decree during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that lasted until dawn. On Thursday morning, PM Ludovic Orban announced that punishments for false declarations pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic will become more stringent. Also, a new type of crime has been introduced in the Criminal Code: The omission of providing information. If during an epidemiological investigation, someone infected with coronavirus withholds information needed to trace possible contacts, this will result in a criminal record.

“Those who do not comply with institutionalized quarantine or the rules of self-isolation should be aware that a criminal record will follow. The government cannot accept that irresponsible citizens, who should be in home isolation or quarantine, show a complete disrespect to regulations, walk around freely and risk the health of others,” Orban emphasized.

“We are aware of the fact that most Romanian citizens respect the law; that is precisely why we have decided to tighten regulations and harshly sanction those who do not understand that the measures taken to cope with the pandemic have to be respected,” the PM underlined.

Furthermore, three senators of the governing National Liberal Party announced on Wednesday that they intend to submit legislation in the upper chamber of Parliament that would stipulate a sentence of 3-10 years imprisonment for those who infect two or more people with a contagious disease; if by any chance the victim of the one who spread the infection dies, the punishment would increase to 5-15 years.

As of Thursday afternoon, Romania had 277 diagnosed coronavirus cases, 91 of which were in Bucharest. A total of 26,700 people were in institutionalized quarantine, and 3,800 in home isolation.

Title image: Authorities fear some people are not being honest about which country they are arriving back from in an attempt to dodge quarantine.

Author: Éva Zay