Parliament’s lower house adopts emergency ordinance
Romanian Parliament’s lower house passed an emergency ordinance designed to allow compensations for higher electricity and gas bills. The parliament’s move on Wednesday allows a support scheme for people struggling to afford their energy bills. Beneficiaries include household customers, hospitals, schools, town halls and NGOs. A similar scheme was approved for SMEs. The measures will come into force on November 1 and they are set to remain in place until March 31 next year. Higher energy costs are also expected to force manufacturers to warn of higher prices for their goods. Gas and coal prices have jumped to all-time highs, taking electricity prices with them. Natural gas prices have seen the biggest increase, with European and Asian prices hitting an all-time record recently – around ten times their level a year ago.
Fines for violation of COVID-19 safety rules
Police in the capital Bucharest issued 48 fines of a total of RON 23,000 following checks on shopping areas, public transport, and other public places for violations of COVID-19 safety rules. The police move on Wednesday was designed to improve security according to provisions in Law 55/2020 to prevent and fight the COVID-19 pandemic, sources of Bucharest Police General Directorate (DGPMB) told reporters. Bucharest Police warned that similar actions were expected in the very next future. Romanian police were investigating more than 100 people over nation-wide anti-lockdown protests in March. The protests were largely organised on Facebook by accounts critical of the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Romania coronavirus updates
Romania reported 13,197 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, with 415 deaths (228 men, 187 women), and another 1,881 under intensive care. In the capital Bucharest, the number of cases hit 191, accordng to data issued by the country’s Strategic Communication Group. With the cases reported, the Romanian capital still leads among other regions across the country followed by the north-eastern county of Iassy with 149 cases. Much lower figures were reported in other counties such as Brasov (central Romania) – 69 cases, Hunedoara (western Romania) – 55 cases, and Constantza (south-eastern Romania) – 54 cases.