Restrictions in Bucharest due to growing Covid-19 cases: Indoor cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, clubs and gambling halls closed. Face masks mandatory around schools

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Bucharest prefect has announced on Tuesday evening that several restrictions will be in force in the Capital city as of Wednesday, October 7 amid skyrocketing COVID-19 cases in the past days. The restrictions are to be in force at least 7 days so long as the incidence rate is maintained at over 1.5 per thousands inhabitants.

In his turn, secretary of state for emergency situations Raed Arafat told TVR 1 state broadcaster that more venues will be shut down such as indoor cafes, restaurants, cinema halls and theaters in Bucharest, and also gambling halls.

When it was initially announced, the draft of restrictions did not include gambling halls, but Arafat mentioned they would be also closed and that it was a miscommunication.

The prefect of Bucharest said that the employees affected by the shut downs in the hospitality and showbiz sectors will benefit of support, through the emergency ordinance 120/2020.

However, the employers’ associations of restaurants in Romania announced they will challenge the new restrictions in court, with the HORA President Daniel Mischie arguing that indoor restaurants have been opened on September 1 and 2 weeks after that, the incubation period of the virus, there has been no rise in the number of people infected with the new coronavirus.

Religious processions have not been banned but pilgrimages to the relic of various saints in Romania are not allowed.

Wedding and christening parties are not banned, but they cannot be held in indoor venues.

As for the presence of people around schools, we have noticed that people are not wearing masks too much, so protection masks are mandatory for children over 5 and adults during 07:45-21:15 in the schools areas. The General Municipality and the district city halls are compelled to delimit these areas to highlight the area of 100 metres to the school”, said the prefect.

Later at noon, Bucharest prefect has announced new more restrictions in place in the Capital city as of today. Thus, besides gambling rooms, casinos, bars, clubs and discos will be also shut down in Bucharest. Betting shops and lotteries where tickets are sold will remain open.

At the same time, the distance around schools where the face mask is mandatory is downsized from 100 metres to 50 metres.

Romanian Health minister Nelu Tataru has delivered a press statement today, calling on citizens to observe the sanitary rules imposed by the Government and the local authorities to contain the coronavirus, saying that the health system is under pressure.

He added that certain restrictions will be relaxed the number of infections is declining in the coming two weeks.

“The medical system is still holding on, but it is recommended we don’t push it (…) We also have infected medical staff, let’s think that this medical staff is exposed (…) There are 226 Covid support hospitals with 1,050 intensive care beds, with 612 patients in these beds. Let’s obey the rules at this watershed moment. Let’s see if prevention is the one that makes the difference. The future of this nation’s health is up only to us”, the minister said.

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