Hotels will open, but restaurants to stay closed after emergency ends

The restrictive measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic will be eased slowly and gradually, Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on a Monday night TV show. He pointed out that hotels will resume their activity, but restaurants cannot open after May 15, when the state of emergency is lifted. Restrictions will most likely remain in place for any kind of show, as gatherings of people must be avoided.

As Orban explained on the show aired by Digi24 TV channel, the risk of contagion is much higher in the case of restaurants than it is in hotels, since people cannot wear face masks while eating.

“It is commonly known that the virus is transmitted through particles which get into the air when people sneeze, cough or even speak; furthermore, these particles can travel quite far, mostly in air-conditioned interiors. In restaurants, people cannot eat with their facemasks on; that is the reason these establishments will stay closed,” said Orban.

Orban was asked what he expects will happen on May 1. Labor Day is traditionally celebrated with picnics and outdoor barbecues, and if the weather is good, people may find it hard to comply with the social distancing measures.

“On May 1, the country will still be in a state of emergency, with all the restrictions in effect. Citizens will have to respect all the rules instituted by the military or other normative acts,” emphasized the PM. “This is no time to relax; if people move around more, they will have to maintain rules of hygiene even more strictly, wear masks in closed spaces, and maintain social distancing,” Orban added. He was also asked about the possibility for people to use parks and playgrounds again; he stated, the risk of getting infected is lower in parks, but higher on playgrounds.

“My recommendation is that we do not let our guard down, since doing so would risk everything that we have accomplished so far in the fight against the pandemic,” said the PM. As he pointed out, restrictions will be eased in stages; after one is lifted, authorities will keep monitoring the statistics of the pandemic, then act accordingly. Generally, activities that attract large crowds will be resumed later, Orban concluded.

Title image: Restaurants will remain closed because of the risk of contagion

Author: Éva Zay