Parliament decides today the rules for the state of alert after May 15. What are the amendments operated by the Senate and Chamber of Deputies?

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Deputies are debating in the plenary session on Wednesday the provisions of the state of alert to be enforced after May 15 when the state of emergency ends.

The Government has drafted a bill, which however, has been substantially amended in the Senate on Tuesday.

During the state of emergency the Government was allowed to issue emergency military ordinances to enforce the measures related to the Coronavirus lockdown, but after the state ends, the Executive must enforce all upcoming measures through a draft law that will have to be voted by the MPs.

 

The Senate has substantially amended the Government’s bill on the state of alert a day ago. First, the senators decided that it should be the Parliament to approve the state of alert in a joint session of the two chambers and not the Government through an emergency ordinance as the current law says.

Secondly, another amendment points that the state of alert is established for 30 days, and could be extended.

Senators have also voted that terraces are to be re-opened, that the employer must consult its employees on the work from home, while store will have to provide facemasks for employees and customers.

Another amendment says that the Health Ministry cannot appoint, suspend or dismiss hospital managers anymore in the case of hospitals that are under the authority of city halls and county councils.

 

However, the Legal Committee in the Chamber of Deputies has convened this morning before the plenary session to discuss the draft law already amended by the Senate on Tuesday and operated further changes.

Among the amendments introduced by the lower chamber’s legal committee there are: the Parliament must give the consent to a 30-day state of alert, fines cannot be higher than RON 2,500 and travel restrictions outside the city of residence are preserved.

The deputies in the legal committees have also re-introduced in the draft the quarantine and isolation rules, although the Government had dropped them for the period of alert.

However, the deputies have introduced some new sanctions in the law in case citizens do not comply with the authorities’ measures, but they rejected the article that mentioned those precise measures. In other words, deputies have established sanctions for deeds that do not exist. The legal committee has thus resumed its session in order to correct the mistake.

An amendment tabled by Liberal MP Florin Roman, saying the law on the state of alert is coming into force once it has been published in the Official Gazette and not after three days as the Constitution states, has been voted by the vote of PNL, Pro Romania and minorities. PSD has not voted, while USR and UDMR abstained from voting.

Normally, a law comes into force three days after it had been published in the Official Gazette, in this case the law would have entered into force on May 18. So, there will have been three days from May 15 to May 18 when there will be a legal vacuum, and the specific rules for COVID-19 state of alert could not have been enforced.

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