Starting today (March 22nd, 2020), Romania will close its borders to foreign citizens, in an aim to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, shopping centres and malls are forced to close, and people’s movements outside of their homes will be restricted under military order. At this point, no specific end-date has been announced.
Although there will be some exceptions, to movement and store closures, such as supermarkets, small stores and pharmacies, the government will close all stores from 22:00 on the night of March 22nd, 2020. People’s movements outside of their residences will be restricted between 22:00 (10pm) and 06:00 (6am).
In addition, anybody who is recorded as being in self-isolation, and leaves their homes without approval from the authorities, will be placed into quarantine. Should anyone leave the quarantine location without permission, they will face an addition 14-day quarantine, fines and criminal prosecution.
For individuals over 65 years of age, the local administration will arrange assistance, if they do not have prearranged care.
DSU chief Raed Arafat appealed for responsibility and said, “Even if by the military ordinance we only recommend some measures during the day, consider them as if they were mandatory.”
When the ordinance comes into affect after 10pm, the following measures will be taken:
- Art. 1 – The activity of dental medicine offices is temporarily suspended, except for emergency interventions.
- Art. 2 – Retail activities are temporarily suspended in the commercial centers where several economic operators operate (malls), except for the sale of food, veterinary or pharmaceutical products and cleaning services.
- Art. 3 – The movement of persons outside the home/household is carried out only in compliance with the general measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoiding the formation of any group of persons larger than three people who do not live together.
- Art. 4 – Between 06.00 and 22.00, it is recommended that the movement of persons outside the home/household should be carried out only for the following reasons
- :a) travel in professional interest, including moving between home/household and the workplace, when the professional activity is essential and cannot be postponed or performed remotely;
- b) travel for the provision of goods that cover the basic needs of the persons and their pets, as well as goods necessary for the professional activity;
- c) travel for healthcare that cannot be postponed or performed remotely;
- d) displacement for justified reasons, such as caring/accompanying the child, the assistance of elderly, sick or disabled persons or death of a family member;
- e) short trips, near the home/household, related to the individual physical activity of the people and the needs of their pets.
- Art. 5 – During the hours 22.00 – 06.00, the movement of persons outside the home/household is allowed only for the reasons provided in art. 4.
- Art. 6 – Foreign citizens are forbidden to enter Romania’s territory unless they transit Romania through transit corridors organized through agreements with the neighboring states. (Exactly how Romanian citizens are now traveling through Hungary). By exception, the entry of foreign citizens belonging to the following categories is allowed on the territory of Romania:
- a) are family members of Romanian citizens;
- b) are family members of citizens of other EU Member States, of the European Economic Area, or of the Swiss Confederation, residing in Romania;
- c) are persons who hold a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to the residence permit issued by the Romanian authorities, or an equivalent document issued by the authorities of other states, according to the law of the European Union;
- d) are persons traveling in professional interest, evidenced by visa, residence permit, or other equivalent documents;
- e) is diplomatic or consular personnel, personnel of international organizations, military personnel or personnel who can provide humanitarian aid;
- f) are passengers in transit, including those repatriated as a result of granting consular protection;
- g) are passengers traveling on imperative grounds (medical or family);
- h) are persons who need international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
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These restrictions will also apply to religious services and private church-based events, such as marriages, baptisms and funerals, will only be allow for 8 people to be in attendance.