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UPDATE Romania might ease COVID-19 restrictions after May 15

Administratia Prezidentiala
Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that after May 15, Romania might move to a stage where COVID-19 restrictions will be eased, provided that the number of new infections and deaths decreases.

"It is time to think about what is called a relaxation plan when the conditions are met. There is now a state of emergency decree in force that ends on May 15. After May 15, if the number of infected persons decreases, if the number of deaths (...) decreases, if we all comply with the measures imposed by the authorities and things are going well, it is clear that we can then move on to a relaxation stage," Iohannis told a news conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Tuesday after a session of assessing the management of the COVID-19 epidemic with members of the government.

He said the easing of restrictions will be done gradually.

"There will not be a sudden relaxation, because specialists tell us that the virus will not disappear. We will have to continue to live with certain restrictions," he said.

He said the relaxation steps will be established on the basis of scientific and medical evidence.

"These issues will be discussed in detail with specialists, with the Scientific Committee that works with the Ministry of Health, effectively involved in the management of the epidemic. These things will be brought to the public's notice by the authorities that deal with this matter," he said.

Iohannis specified that he, the prime minister and the health and interior ministers will make announcements regarding the measures to be taken. He also added that on the economic side, where a plan for restarting the economy is being worked out, the relevant minister will come up with details.

"Under no circumstances will these measures be announced by someone who wants to gain notoriety perhaps politically, perhaps in another way," Iohannis assured.

He explained that the relaxation of the coronavirus epidemic restrictions will be gradual.

"First, activities that present a low risk of contamination with this virus will be possible again. There is a clear need for an evaluation of doctors, specialists, but also an economic evaluation, because we want to restart the economy of Romania. It is just as important to understand now, after so much we have gone through an important stage of this epidemic, that relaxation means the authorities will be less involved in each person's life and then the responsibility will rest with each one of you, dear Romanians. More than ever before. Each of us will be more responsible for issues that directly concern us. Each one of us will have to take more care of us, our family and those close to us," President Iohannis said

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