The Romanian government decided on Tuesday to extend the state of alert by another month, announced Health Minister Nelu Tataru.
“We have 250 new cases (of COVID-19), 10 deaths since yesterday and more than 4,500 active cases, in which context we decided to extend the state of alert by other 30 days,” the minister told a press conference after a regular government meeting.
the government decision can only take effect after it has been discussed and approved by parliament, but a number of opposition parties, including the largest, the Social Democratic Party, have made it clear that they do not support the extension and will prevent the decision from being passed in parliament.
Tataru told private broadcaster Digi24 on Monday that there would be limited levers at hand to impose certain measures if parliament does not approve the extension of the state of alert, and that an administrative solution will have to be found to still impose the remaining restrictions.
A new round of relaxations of COVID-19 restrictions came into effect in Romania on Monday, with the reopening of shopping malls, gambling rooms, outdoor swimming pools and fitness centers.
This was the third round of relaxations announced in Romania after the country entered the state of alert in mid-May, following the end of a two-month higher-level state of emergency.
According to the decision adopted by the National Committee for Emergency Situations, private events can now be organized with a maximum of 20 people indoors and up to 50 people outside.
The number of people who do not belong to the same family but can travel or do outdoor sports and recreational activities together increases from three to six. However, the ban will be still in place for cinemas, playgrounds and restaurants inside shopping malls.
The activities of nurseries, kindergartens and after-schools during the summer holidays are also allowed under the conditions established by the relevant authorities.
At the press conference on Tuesday, Tataru added the resumption of religious services inside churches when referring to the third round of relaxation measures, but emphasized that observing social distancing and wearing protective masks remain mandatory.
The health minister stressed that
“the situation is not over yet, we are at a time that we must manage,” and Romanians can return to a quasi-normal life only by respecting the rules.
He also added that the next round of relaxation measures could be adopted after July 1 if the epidemic is well controlled.