Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Romania extends state of alert through Aug. 16 due to COVID-19 activity; several restrictions remain in place.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 02:29 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 16 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions ongoing

Romanian authorities have extended the state of alert due to ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity until Aug. 16; it had been set to expire July 17. The state of alert allows authorities to implement and amend restrictions at short notice.

All restrictions currently imposed under the state of alert have also been extended. Houses of worship are permitted to reopen, provided congregants can maintain a social distance of two meters (6.5 feet). Restaurants and cafes may open outdoor areas, provided tables are spaced two meters apart and no more than four people sit at a single table. Outdoor performances may not exceed 500 spectators; social distance must be maintained. Wearing a mask or face-covering in public is mandatory.

Authorities relaxed numerous movement and business restrictions in recovery stages through June. International road and rail travel has resumed. Shopping malls, gambling rooms, outdoor swimming pools, and fitness centers have reopened, albeit with special health precautions. Outdoor sports competitions can resume without spectators. Summer after-school activities and kindergartens have also been allowed to resume operations. Beaches, hair salons, dental offices, and museums have also reopened.

Authorities have also lifted the mandatory 14-day self-isolation for travelers from countries with low COVID-19 infections rates; currently on the list are the EU, the UK, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Canada, Morocco, Algeria, Australia, Rwanda, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, New Zealand, Tunisia, and Thailand. The list will be updated every Monday. All other international travelers are required to undergo 14 days of self-isolation.

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 lower COVID-19 infection rates. 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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