The government considers lifting certain restrictions for winter holidays


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The National Committee for Emergency Situations is to convene on Wednesday to decide on the measures that will be imposed in Romania for the winter holidays.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on Tuesday that “we will do it in such a way as to avoid congestion in shops, so that people can move around”. It is also possible that the mask may no longer be required in open spaces that are not crowded.

According to official sources, on New Year’s Eve, parties could be allowed, and the shops could remain open until 23.00, compared to 21.00, as it is now. The stores might remain open till 23:00hrs also during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

We really want the representatives of the state institutions to be able to manage these situations very well, to have the possibility for people to move,” PM Ciuca said today, adding that the new restrictions to be lifted will be announced on Wednesday.

Private parties were totally banned in Romania on October 22 as authorities were fighting the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and as hospitals and intensive care units were full of Covid patients.

The new Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, said on Sunday that no “stupid measures” will be imposed for the holidays, but that it is not recommended for people to throw parties with a large numbers and if they will still be held, people should wear protective face masks.

We will still have extra pressure because of this new strain, Omicron, and I believe that everyone has a responsibility to protect themselves not only personally, but also those we come in contact with. (…) The population must not believe that a low incidence is an element of non-compliance with certain rules, but on the contrary, it means an element of keeping the incidence low and keeping life as close to normal as possible,” minister Rafila pointed out.

State of alert extended

Meanwhile, the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU) has approved, on Tuesday, the extension of the state of alert on the territory of Romania starting with December 9, establishing, among others, the elimination of circulation restrictions during the night.

CNSU extended the state of alert and the measures necessary to be enforced in this period to prevent and counter the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously, our situation now is a better one than two-three weeks ago, thus, after many discussions, the implementation of measures for the coming period that will alter the restrictions in force up to now was reached,” the head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), Raed Arafat, said on Tuesday.

Firstly, he added, the CNSU decision proposes “the elimination of movement restrictions for people during the night.”

“As you all know, the deadline was 23:00 hrs, after which movement was restricted for people who are not vaccinated and which have not been cured for the disease, thus, these restrictions are lifted,” Arafat said.

At the same time, restaurants and stores will not close down at 21:000hrs anymore, but at 22:00hrs.

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