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, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), Raed Arafat, announced on Tuesday.
“The session of the National Committee for Emergency Situations saw the voting of Decision 112 to prolong the state of alert and the measures necessary to be applied in this period for the prevention and combating of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly 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,” said Raed Arafat, on Tuesday, at the Victoria Palace.
Firstly, he added, the CNSU decision proposes “the elimination of circulation restrictions for persons during the night.”
“As you all know, the deadline was 23:00 hrs, after which circulation was restricted for persons who are not vaccinated and which have not been cured for the disease, thus, these restrictions are eliminated,” Arafat said.
Also according to the CNSU decision, the permissible functioning hours for all economic agents, including restaurants and stores, was moved from 21:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs, the DSU head also said.
According to CNSU, other exceptions to the measures already in force are:
* elimination of traffic bans;
* increasing the time interval in which it is allowed to carry out activities with the public for all economic operators, including for sports competitions and cultural and artistic activities between 5.00 – 22.00;
* the elimination of the obligation to wear a protective mask for all non-crowded open public spaces;
* the elimination of the restrictions regarding the program of the economic operators of the type of restaurants and cafes in the periods 24.12.2021 – 25.12.2021 and 31.12.2021 – 01.01.2022;
* allowing access to non-food business operators, shopping centers and parks and to people who test negative for a rapid RT-PCR or antigen test;
* allowing accommodation in tourist reception facilities and for people who show a negative result of a rapid RT-PCR or antigen test;
* allowing access to all persons within the premises for the sale of non-food products, with an area of less than or equal to 200 sqm, ensuring an area of at least 4 sqm/person.
The CNSU decision entered the Government meeting on Wednesday, for debate and adoption.
HealthMin Rafila: We will never take relaxation measures on an increasing trend in the number of infections
Minister of Health Alexandru Rafila (photo L) declared on Wednesday, at the end of the government meeting, that the relaxation measures were adopted in the context of a downward trend in the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
“These measures are taken because we have a situation where the national incidence is close to 1 and we have had a consecutive decrease for several weeks. These relaxation measures can change, if you want, in a very short time if the trend turns form a downward to an upward one (…) Relaxation measures have been taken on an upward trend during the summer. We will never do that, taking relaxation measures when the number of cases is going up and we are closely monitoring this, together with the National Institute of Public Health. We are also monitoring any unusual developments in certain areas of the country so that we can react as quickly as possible,” Rafila told a news conference held at Victoria Palace of Government.
The Minister also said that the inclusion of the test results in the COVID digital certificate is not a measure of relaxation, but of “normality”, expressing his conviction that this will give people confidence that they can carry out activities safely and without discrimination.”
“We must however give people hope that life can be normal in this country, and they must be together with the authorities, at the same time partners and responsible. We can try to do this on the occasion of these holidays. I hope the end of December doesn’t mean the end of the relaxation period, but that, I repeat, depends on the civic behavior and the responsibility of all those who are involved in these types of activities” said Rafila.
The Minister of Health also stated that it is preferable to have “a certain relaxation” and a “rigorous” observance of the existing provisions, rather than “extremely harsh, extremely restrictive rules” that are not observed.
“We are trying to return to normalcy and a return to a partnership with the population. Of course there is concern. Romania has taken these measures, which seem to be measures of relaxation: extending the program of economic agents by one hour, increasing the occupancy rate of the halls, for example, to 50%, from 30%, giving up the night traffic restrictions and one important thing, which I believe leads to the elimination of discrimination that has consistently existed in recent months, namely access based on the COVID electronic certificate, which this time includes testing. (…) We are now on a downward trend and we hope to be able to keep it that way, but for that to happen, everyone must understand that we must follow the rules,” Rafila said, according to Agerpres.
AUR criticizes new relaxation measures announced by CNSU
AUR (Alliance for the Union of Romanians) criticizes the new relaxation measures announced by the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU), saying they “are an insult for honest and hardworking Romanians, whose only fault is that they are not vaccinated.”
“The so-called ‘relaxation measures’ do not solve, in essence, anything because they continue to insist on restricting citizens’ rights and freedoms and segregation on health grounds,” Senator Claudiu Tarziu, co-chair of AUR, said in a press release on Wednesday.
For his part, AUR co-chair George Simion said the number of daily COVID-19 infections had dropped “sharply, and all the data show that the Omicron strain was less dangerous than Delta.”
“Therefore, it is incomprehensible why Raed Arafat and Nicolae Ciuca insist on instilling panic among the population and maintaining aberrant and discriminatory restrictions,” the AUR leader said.
The Alliance for the Union of Romanians calls on the Government to “stop violating the fundamental freedoms and rights of Romanians, from freedom of movement to the right to education, in the context of the indefinite extension of the state of alert under the pretext of the COVID epidemic,” according to the same source.
Romascanu: Shows to take place with 50% maximum occupancy; access also with COVID-19 test
Performances could take place, in the coming period, with the participation of spectators up to 50 percent of the maximum capacity of the space, in addition to proof of having recovered from the disease or of the COVID vaccination, the public can also have access based on a negative test for the SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Minister of Culture, Lucian Romascanu, announced on Wednesday, after the Government meeting.
“I come with good news. At our requests, our insistence, we managed to have performances tale place in closed or open space, in the next period, depending on the pandemic evolution, with 50%, instead of 30% of occupied seats, with a test, until now there was a vaccine or proof of having recovered from the disease, and the last hour until which it can be played is 22.00,” Romascanu told a press conference.
He added that, according to the CNSU Decision, which cleared the Government, people can travel home without be stopped by the law enforcement with fines, as long as they can show the tickets proving they attended a show.
“It’s important, because these performances of the Opera, which are extremely beautiful and with a remarkable distribution and a special charge, can be seen today, the day after tomorrow and on December 12 with 50% of the capacity of the performance hall,” mentioned Romascanu, referring to the show “Lohengrin”, directed by Silviu Purcarete, for the first time at the centenary of the Bucharest National Opera.
100 years after the historic moment when George Enescu conducted “Lohengrin” at the Bucharest National Opera, on Wednesday evening, the main event of the “Opera 100” season will take place: the premiere with “Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner, directed by Silviu Purcarete, stage design by Dragos Buhagiar, musical management Tiberiu Soare. The show will take to the stage twice more, on Friday and Sunday, from 18.30.
Compiled from Agerpres