BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Around 3,000 anti-vaccination protesters gathered in front of the parliament building in Bucharest on Sunday as authorities announced new restrictions amid rising COVID-19 infections.
It has been less than six weeks since COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Bucharest, but rising infections have prompted authorities to tighten restrictions on the 14-day period from Monday.
Restrictions will be seen in closed areas of bars, restaurants, theaters, games venues and cafes, as the level of infection in the capital has increased from three cases per 1,000 inhabitants in 14 days. as a threshold to manage both restrictions and the spread of the virus.
Many protesters hoisted Romanian flags, chanting “freedom” and “inside the mask”. It was written on a big sign. “Do not say no to compulsory vaccinations.”
The rally was attended by the leader of Romania’s far-right AUR party, George Vor Simion, who opposed the mandatory vaccination.
The new restrictions will see many schools in the capital return to online education, while kindergartens and elementary school students in grades eight through 12 will continue to attend physically, in some cases only partially.
“We have already passed it, we have survived,” Andrea Beka, who owns a small bistro in central Bucharest, told the Associated Press.
“We also realized that maintaining the quality of our food is the most important criterion for our customers, that they order online. “We can only hope for the best,” he said.
At the same time, tougher measures must be taken in the western city of Timisoara, with a population of more than 400,000, which will be quarantined after the infection rate rises from seven to 1,000 inhabitants.
Residents of quarantined areas are required to fill out an official document stating the reason for their relocation. There is a small curfew in the whole country from 11 to 6 o’clock yesterday morning
Many former communist countries in Eastern Europe are fighting vaccine skepticism as vaccine campaigns are slowly spreading across Europe.
According to the government’s website, more than 1.7 million people in Romania have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Romania, a country of more than 19 million people, has reported more than 828,000 COVID-19 infections, with 900 20,900 deaths.