Romanian government to ease some COVID-19 restrictions

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BUCHAREST, Dec 8 (Reuters) – The Romanian government will ease some COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, eliminating a night curfew and an obligation to wear face masks outdoors ahead of winter holidays, officials said on Tuesday.

The European Union state reported 1,421 new daily COVID-19 cases and 107 deaths on Tuesday, far off record highs reported in October and early November during its deadliest wave of the pandemic.

Shops and restaurants can close at 10 p.m., one hour later than at present. Entry to most non-essential public venues will be allowed not only for those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from the virus, but also for those who can present a negative COVID-19 test.

Wearing facemasks will continue to be mandatory in public transport and indoor public spaces, but will no longer be required outside except in crowded areas such as markets.

Romania remains the second-least vaccinated country in the EU, with just under 39% of the population inoculated amid distrust in state institutions, poor vaccine education and misinformation campaigns.

On Saturday, the country confirmed its first two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The government tightened travel restrictions, requiring negative COVID-19 tests and quarantining unvaccinated travelers. Passenger locator forms will be introduced from Dec. 20.

Photo – A Romanian woman with a protective mask, passes an online banking advertise reading ‘less queing’ in downtown Bucharest, Romania. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

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