President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that after May 15, the state of emergency in Romania will be changed to a state of alert.
“The state of emergency will not be extended, I will not issue a new decree to extend the state of emergency. May 14 is the last day of the state of emergency. From May 15, to keep the epidemic under control, we will enter a state of alert, which is regulated by specific legislation that clarifies how to act in the event of an epidemic and we are clearly, unfortunately, in the midst of a COVID-19 epidemic,” Iohannis told a news briefing at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He underscored that the situation has not improved yet.
“I do not want to give the impression that the epidemic has passed and we are in a normal situation. Unfortunately, the epidemic has not waned and you have certainly noticed from public communications that again there are today over 300 people who have tested positive, and so we cannot say that the disease waned, but at some point we have to move forward and that forward materialises in the form of organisation, going from a state of emergency to a state of alert,” Iohannis said.
Iohannis urged the public to responsibility.
“In reality, no matter what you hear on TV, no one knows how long this epidemic will last and it depends on us whether here, in Romania, we control it better or worse. I really want all of us to control it well together, which means following the orders of the authorities,” the president said.
He mentioned some of the measures after May 15 – free movement locally, the reopening of beauty salons, dental offices, museums and sports facilities for professional athletes.
He said that at the end of last week there were no significant violations of the rules imposed by the authorities.
“We have analysed the situation in which we find ourselves epidemiologically and in terms of the ongoing state of emergency. (…) At the weekend of May 1 we all saw that things were quite good and I am very satisfied with the way people reacted to the authorities’ call, as they stayed at home and although it was May 1, there were no significant violations of the rules. Things went well,” added Iohannis.
Easing lockdown restrictions will be done step by step
Easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions after Romania moves from a state of emergency to a state of alert will be done “step by step,” by intervals of about two weeks, President Klaus Iohannis also said on Monday.
He had a meeting on measures to manage the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Interior Minister Marcel Vela, Health Minister Nelu Tataru, Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca, Minister of Economy and Energy Virgil Popescu, Minister of Education and Research Monica Anisie, and head of the Emergency Management Department Raed Arafat.
He pointed out that, from May 15, a “state of alert” will be declared, from when wearing a face mask in enclosed public spaces and on public transport becomes mandatory.
From May 15, said Iohannis, beauty salons, dental offices and museums will open with special conditions of physical distancing, and hygiene in place.
From then on, bona fide declarations to travel locally will no longer be needed, but “essentially travel will be restricted to local travel,” Iohannis added.
The head of state also said that professional athletes will be allowed to train at training camps after the state of emergency ends, but sports competitions still cannot be organised.