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August 11, 2022
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HealthMin Rafila: Law says protective masks continue to be mandatory in all indoor spaces

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) found on Tuesday the unconstitutionality of Government Emergency Ordinance 192/2020

The Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, on Wednesday stated, at the beginning of the government meeting, that Law No. 55/2020 provides for the continued use of the mask in all indoor spaces.

“We are all waiting for the publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania and the motivation of this decision. However, we did analyze the existing laws, when this decision was made public, and we must say very clearly that the Law No. 55 provides for the continued use of the mask in all indoor spaces, in means of public transport or in enclosed or covered markets,” said the Minister.

On the other hand, he underscored that the use of the mask is not “a restriction in itself,” but a measure that prevents or slows down the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community.

“The use of the mask is not a restriction in itself, but a measure that prevents or slows down the transmission of this infection in the community, and individual protection is necessary both for ourselves and for those with whom we interact. Obviously, if the legislative context imposes this, I am convinced that the Romanian Government will adopt the necessary legislative acts for the protection of public health,” said Rafila, according to Agerpres.

 

Mask still mandatory in enclosed spaces, on public transportation and in closed markets

 

The Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, said on Wednesday that the use of protective masks is still mandatory in enclosed spaces, on public transportation, and in closed markets.

He explained in a press conference, at the Victoria Governmental Palace, that those situations are regulated by Law no. 55/2020, with measures regulating mask wearing in open spaces to be taken in accordance with the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) – who struck down the mask mandate for public areas – after it is published in the Official Journal.

“This ordinance which was declared unconstitutional was adopted in 2020, it referred to the use of masks in public spaces. Obviously, after its publication [e.n. – of the CCR decision], we must make it so that we respect the decision of the Constitutional Court. Now, the other ways to use the mask in enclosed spaces, in public transportation, in closed markets are regulated by Law 55. So, it’s obvious that the mask isn’t abandoned in enclosed spaces. The legislation that made reference to this ordinance elaborated by the Health Ministry must be updated. We are following with great attention the evolution of the epidemiological situation an we will take those measures that are appropriate to protect the health of the population,” showed Alexandru Rafila.

 

 

CCR: Government Emergency Ordinance 192/2020 establishing obligation to wear a protective mask in public spaces, unconstitutional

 

The statements of the Health Minister come after the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR), on Tuesday, struck down as unconstitutional Government Emergency Ordinance 192/2020 that instituted, among others, the obligation to wear protective masks in public spaces commercial spaces, public transport and the workplace.

According to a press release of the CCR sent to AGERPRES, in Tuesday’s session, the Constitutional Court, within the framework of the law control following promulgation, unanimously admitted the exception of unconstitutionality and found that the Government Emergency Ordinance 192/2020 for the amendment and completion of Law 55/2020 on some measures to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for the amendment of letter a) of art. 7 of Law 81/2018 on the regulation of telework activity is unconstitutional.

The Court found the overall unconstitutionality of the Government Emergency Ordinance 192/2020 as it was adopted in violation of the constitutional provisions of Article 1 paragraph (3) and (5) and Article 79 paragraph (1), regarding the approval of draft normative acts by the Legislative Council.

According to the CCR, the normative acts previous and subsequent to OUG 192/2020 remain in force.

The Court states that, as a result of this decision, only the provisions contained in Government Emergency Ordinance 192/2020 are removed from the active body of the legislation, under the conditions of Article 147 paragraphs (1) and (4) of the Constitution, while all the other normative texts from Law 55/2020 on some measures to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and from Law 81/2018 on the regulation of telework activity remain in force.

OUG 192 of 2020 also provided, inter alia, that:

* during the state of alert, employers order work at home or in teleworking conditions, wherever the specifics of the activity allow, in compliance with the provisions of Law 53/2003 – Labor Code, republished, with subsequent amendments and completions, and Law 81/2018 on the regulation of telework activity.

* during the alert state, by derogation from the provisions of art. 118 para. (1) of Law no. 53/2003 – Labor Code, republished, with subsequent amendments and completions, employers in the private system, central and local public authorities and institutions, regardless of the method of financing and subordination, as well as autonomous utility companies, national companies, national societies and companies in which the share capital is wholly or mainly owned by the state or by an administrative-territorial unit, with a number of more than 50 employees, organizes the work schedule so that the staff is divided into groups to start, respectively to finish the activity at a difference for at least an hour.

 

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