Romania: New set of measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
On 29 March 2019, the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs issued the Military Ordinance no. 4, as published in Part I, no. 257 of the Romanian Official Gazette (“Military Ordinance no. 4”), whereby a new set of measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has been established on Romanian territory. These measures include steps such as the capping of utility prices and new measures to support transport activities, but also tighter penalties for people who fail to comply with isolation or quarantine rules.
The new set of measures relate mainly to the following:
Harsher sanctions for those who leave isolation or quarantine: Persons leaving their place of quarantine without the approval of the competent authorities will be sanctioned according to the relevant law and will be obliged to resume the 14-day quarantine cycle, bearing the expenses incurred as a result of their quarantine. People who do not comply with the home isolation rules and are identified outside their place of residence will be punished in a similar way, also being obliged to stay in quarantine for 14 days and bearing the expenses incurred as a result of their quarantine.
Freight vehicles drivers can choose their place of isolation or quarantine: When entering the country, based on an affidavit, drivers of freight vehicles with a maximum authorised load of more than 2.4 tons will opt for one of the following protection measures for a maximum of 14 days quarantine/isolation period between their voyages, (i) quarantine in premises made available by their employer, (ii) home isolation together with all the persons with whom they live or alone in other available premises, or (iii) quarantine on request in premises made available by the public authorities, bearing the quarantine expenses. The above measure will also apply to aircraft pilots and navigation personnel.
Isolation of employees at their workplace: For a period established by the employer, preventive isolation measures will be established for personnel performing essential functions at their workplace or in specific dedicated areas to which no outside persons have access to ensure the functioning of the production, transportation and distribution of electricity and gas, maintenance activities for specific equipment and installations as well as other supply activities including extraction, production and processing of energy resources and raw and/or semi-processed materials necessary for the proper functioning of the national energy system in accordance with the provisions of the plans to ensure the continuity of basic activities during the state of emergency on the territory of Romania.
Capped prices for electricity and heat, gas, water and fuel: During the state of emergency, the prices for electricity and heat, natural gas, water supply, sanitation and fuels cannot be increased above the level applicable on 29 March 2020. However, these can only be reduced depending on supply and demand.
Approval and authorisation of materials needed to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19: During the state of emergency, the Centre for Scientific Military Medical Research, the CBRN Defence and Ecology Scientific Research Centre, the Military Equipment and Technologies Research Agency and the “Cantacuzino” National Medical Military Institute for Research and Development are authorised to endorse/approve materials, components, equipment and devices necessary for preventing and controlling the spread and for treating infections with the COVID-19 virus or the biocides.
As clarification for certain measures imposed by Military Ordinance no. 3 dated 24 March 2020, Military Ordinance no. 4 states that the prohibition on the movement of people in groups of more than three only applies to pedestrian traffic.
Moreover, the Military Ordinance no. 4 also amends certain provisions of Military Ordinance no. 3 dated 24 March 2020 in relation to the movement of older people (over 65 years of age) by allowing them to leave their domicile outside the time slot 11.00 am to 1.00 pm for health-related purposes in the case of planned treatments such as oncology treatment or dialysis. Also, people over 65 are allowed to leave their domicile between 8.00 pm and 9.00 pm for the needs of their domestic pets (only in the vicinity of their home) and for this specific purpose no affidavit will be required. Moreover, between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm, commercial enterprises trading strictly necessary products have to organise their opening times in order to facilitate and ensure that people over 65 have priority access.