Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Romania to replace COVID-19-related state of emergency with lower alert status from May 15; several restrictions to be eased.

This alert affects Romania

This alert began 04 May 2020 21:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 29 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: From May 15
  • Impact: Easing of restrictions; severe travel and business disruptions

Romanian authorities announced on May 4 that they will replace the nation's existing state of emergency with a lower alert status from May 15, relative to the effort to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the lower alert status, most restrictions will remain in place but some will ease from May 15 including the following:

  • Hair salons, dental offices, and museums will reopen.
  • Individuals will be allowed to leave their administrative units for work, to seek medical help, and for individual sporting activities; restrictions will not be eased in municipalities that are currently under quarantine (the city of Suceava and the surrounding areas, the city of Tandarei, and Ialomita county).

Authorities have indicated that the ban of gatherings of more than three people from different households will remain in place.

Security forces, including members of the military, will remain deployed to enforce the edict. The measures are in addition to an ongoing ban on all foreigners entering Romania, except for those who hold residency status, who have family in the country, who are transiting Romanian territory or commute across the border for essential work that cannot be carried out remotely. The restrictions do not apply to freight transport, though processing delays are likely due to increased checks at borders.

The implementation of future recovery stages is contingent upon no major increase in disease activity over the coming weeks. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV2-virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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