MEASURES INTRODUCED IN 2020
The first regulation regarding quarantine was issued by The National Committee for Special Emergency Situations at the beginning of February 2020. For people returning home from confirmed outbreak areas in China or cruises with confirmed cases, a 14-day quarantine was recommended, in accommodation identified by the authorities. Later in February, the first identification forms for suspected cases and close contacts were issued by the Government. People returning from areas with a high infection rate filled self-declaration on their country of departure and travel routes. Starting on February 24, a 14-day mandatory quarantine was imposed for people returning from mainland China (Hubei Province) and twelve localities in Italy, along with a 14-day self-isolation period at home for people returning from other provinces/cities in mainland China and other localities from the Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy.
At the beginning of March, the national authorities defined red, yellow, and green zones depending on the number of declared cases, and the list was maintained by the National Centre for the Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases. The Ministry of Health issued regulations on quarantine and isolation on March 11. A 14-day quarantine was mandatory for people returning from the “red zones” and a 14-day isolation period at home for all people returning from the “yellow zones”. Authorities issued operational procedures for identification and management of symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, as well as guidance on quarantine and isolation. Testing for symptomatic cases entering Romania started in March, although Romanian citizens with proof of quarantine abroad were exempted. Starting on March 24, a 14-day isolation or quarantine was imposed on all people returning from abroad. Disobeying home isolation falls under the civil or penal codes, and the authorities have reinforced the penalties through a Governmental Ordinance. A national map with the number of cases, including the numbers of population in quarantine or isolation, is updated in real-time.
Limitations in the freedom of movement for the general population are described above (see Section 1.2, including transition measures). Facilities for institutionalized people (children, older people, people with disabilities) and prisons are advised to isolate suspected cases and to follow the official protocols. Local authorities must identify homeless people and older people who might need support during a period of home isolation.
During the State of Alert following the State of Emergency, fourteen days at-home isolation for all people entering Romania is mandatory. There are categories exempted from self-isolation, including: diplomates, employees in transportation services, cross-border workers and pupils/students who must pass exams to close an educational cycle. The local authorities may provide spaces for institutionalized quarantine either on request, or for the people without the possibility of at-home isolation. People who do not comply must pay for the mandatory quarantine in special locations decided by the county authorities.
Any locality/area may be quarantined, upon request of the county committees for emergencies, based on analyses performed by the public health directorates and endorsed by the National Institute of Public Health.
Isolation and quarantine are in force during the State of Alert. Commercial flights to and from countries that are not exempted from quarantine and isolation requirements remain suspended, and any locality or area may be quarantined based on epidemiological evidence, by way of a decision of the county authorities.
The definition of quarantine and isolation was changed by a new law on July 21, following a Constitutional Court decision which, based on the intimation from the ombudsman, pronounced that existing quarantine and isolation measures, together with the mandatory hospitalization of SARS CoV2 positive people, instituted by the Romanian government from the beginning of the COVID 19 epidemic, were unconstitutional. These measures were temporarily suspended and hundreds of patients left hospitals before the new provisions enacted on 21 July were enforced.
The law issued on July 21 requires persons who arrive from countries/ areas at high risk and persons who are direct contacts of a confirmed case to undergo a quarantine. The law also defines local/zonal quarantine rules. Isolation is instituted for symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, at home, or in a hospital, if the person agrees to this. Mandatory hospitalization ordered by a physician cannot exceed 48 hours.
Law no. 136/2020 establishing public health measures in situations of epidemiological and biological risk
MEASURES INTRODUCED IN 2021
The continuous re-issuance of the State of Alert allows the policymakers to ease or maintain restrictions based on the evolving epidemiological situation. Isolation and quarantine have been maintained. Every person arriving in Romania from a country with high epidemiological risk must undergo a mandatory quarantine. The list of countries is periodically updated by the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations led by the Prime Minister (the list was last updated on February 19, 2021). At present, every person without a negative RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 that was taken less than 72 hours before their arrival in Romania must remain in quarantine for 14 days. However, people arriving into Romania from countries with high epidemiological risk who present a negative RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and children under 3 years old must only quarantine for 10 days.
People vaccinated against COVID-19 who had received both vaccine doses at least 10 days before arrival, people who had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the last 90 days and can present medical documents (issued within the last 14 days) that prove presence of IgG antibodies, and people who are in transit for no more than 72 hours are exempted from mandatory quarantine. Any other exceptions from mandatory quarantine (for diplomats, cross-border workers, people in essential activities) are specified by the decisions of the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations.
Any locality/area within Romania may be quarantined at the request of the county committees for emergencies. Such requests are based on analyses (usually the cumulative incidence of new cases per 1,000 inhabitants) that are performed by the public health directorates and endorsed by the National Institute of Public Health.
Decision of the Government no. 35/2021 on the extension of the State of Alert in Romania starting on February 12, 2021, and the measures to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.