PM vows no post-election lockdown as ‘Romania can’t afford it’


There will be no lockdown after this weekend’s parliamentary elections, prime minister Ludovic Orban told television station Romania TV, explaining that the economy can’t afford it.

“I guarantee [you] 100% there will be no lockdown. Romania can’t afford it; we can’t afford it from the point of view of the economy, from the point of view of the upcoming period. It will not happen. So, if anyone claims this, I say it is folly; it is actually a campaign lie meant to weaken the support for the [National Liberal Party] PNL. The president also said it very clearly: this is not on the table. Shutting down the economic activity is out of the question,” Orban said.

He also said that, over the past few days, the number of people recovering from Covid-19 exceeded that of the infected ones.

“For the past seven-eight days, we have seen a downward trend, and, what is more, in the past five days out of seven, the number of those recovering exceeded that of those infected. It is true that fewer tests were carried out because of the public holidays, and not all testing centers were open, but the testing activity restarts today under normal conditions, depending on the testing requests,” the PM said.

Romania reported 4,916 coronavirus cases on December 2 and a share of positive tests of 31.3%. Less than 17,000 daily tests were carried out between November 29 and December 2, when Romanians had a long, ‘bridge’ weekend because of two public holidays: St. Andrew on November 30 and the National Day on December 1. Fewer tests are usually carried out over the weekends as well.

The authorities introduced additional restrictions starting November 9. Schools and kindergartens are closed throughout the country and masks are mandatory in all public spaces, indoor and outdoor. People’s movement is restricted during the night (23:00 to 5:00) with some exceptions, while shops and large stores close at 21:00.