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COVID-19 Legal & Tax Resource Center: Moving Forward Together 

by NNDKP Legal & Tax Resource Center

Published: October, 2020

Submission: November, 2020

 



The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to put pressure on the public and private sectors alike.


As we are entering new phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to switch our focus towards safely and gradually reopening our businesses and economies while continuing to implement prevention measures. As public authorities are struggling to find the balance between reviving the economy and keeping the contamination rate under control we are now faced with another set of challenges for the public and private sectors alike.


From complete shutdown of various businesses to a reopening under strict health requirements, to taking measures for ensuring business continuity and sustainability, private actors have to find the best models to keep their companies afloat and ensure the health and safety of their employees.

 

Private actors need to continue to take active part in the implementation of solutions for prevention and limitation of the spread of the disease and to respond and react to the interruption and changing circumstances that impact the economy.

 

NNDKP aims to assist organizations in this effort by sharing the insights developed in respect of the implications COVID-19 disease has had in various fields. Check regularly for updates.

 

Together we will find the most suitable solutions for moving forward!

 

State of Alert 


On 14 October 2020 the state of alert has been prolonged yet again for another 30 days by means of Government Decision no. 856/2020

 
The decision provides three types of measures in separate Schedules:

  • Measures for increasing response capacity;
  • Measures for ensuring the resilience of communities; and
  • Measures for decreasing the type risk impact;
     

We have summarized the most important measures and restrictions imposed for the private and public sectors alike, in order to give you a concise overview of the provisions in force.


Retail


In shopping centers where multiple economic operators carry out activities the following activities are suspended:


  • activities performed at playgrounds, gaming rooms and indoor pools;

Food Service


The activity of consumption of food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks performed by restaurants, hotels, coffee houses, bed and breakfast and other public establishments, in communal spaces destined for this activity, inside the buildings is permitted in the counties and Municipality of Bucharest where the number of cases in the last 14 days has been lower or equal to 1,5/1.000 inhabitants..


The entities mentioned above i.e. restaurants, hotels, coffee houses, bed and breakfast, motels etc. that prepare and commercialize food and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks may perform their activity on-site if the condition laid above is met, meaning the number of cases in the last 14 days is lower or equal to 1,5/1000 inhabitants.


Restaurants or coffee shops located inside hotels, bread and breakfast or other accommodation units, may receive customers who are not their guests only if the number of cases in said counties and the Municipality of Bucharest is lower than 1,5/1000 inhabitants. In case the number is higher, such restaurants and accommodation units may accept only customers who are staying at the respective accommodation unit.


County Committee for Emergency Situations where the aggregated number of cases in the last 14 days surpasses 1,5/1000 inhabitants may decide upon allowing the above activities in a specific town/city if cases in that town do not surpass 1,5/1000 inhabitants. Economic operators whose activity is still suspended according to the above limitation can still prepare and commercialize food and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks is such are not consumed in those respective spaces.


Preparation, commercialization and consumption of food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted in specially designed places outside the building, in open air, with the observance of a minimum distance of 2 m between tables and with a maximum of 6 persons at a table, if said persons belong to different families, and with the observance of the sanitary protection rules established by joint order of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment and the President of the National Authority of Sanitary Veterinary and Safety of Food.


Economic operators that perform activities in places as the ones presented above are obliged to observe public hours, take measures to limit the number of clients and chairs and any activity that involves a physical interaction between clients, as well as other restrictions provided by the National Committee for Emergency Situations (“NCES”).


The activity performed by bars, clubs and dancing facilities are still prohibited.


Entertainment


It is prohibited to organize and carry out demonstrations, rallies, concerts or other meetings in open spaces, as well as cultural, scientific, artistic, sportive or entertainment activities which are held in closed spaces. The following exceptions apply:


1. Physical training activities for professional athletes performed within specific sports facilities, such as training camps, practices and competitions performed on Romanian territory shall be carried out with the observance of the prevention and protection measures provided in the joint Order of the Youth and Sport Ministry and Health Minister.


2. Sports competitions that are performed outdoors or in indoor/outdoor pools may be carried out in Romania without an audience, with the observance of the joint Order of the Minister of Youth and Sport and Minister of Health. For activities that take place indoor, a distance of 7sm/person must be provided.


3. Activities performed in museums, libraries, book shops, studios of movies and audiovisual productions, as well as cultural events performed in open air may be performed in accordance with the joint Order of the Minister of Culture and Minister of Health.


4. The activity of cinemas, shows and/or concerts is permitted, without exceeding 50% of the maximum capacity of the space, if the number of cases in the last 14 days of the respective county or at the level of Bucharest is lower or equal to 1,5/1000 inhabitants.


5. County Committees of Emergency Situations may impose restrictions in a certain town if the number of the cases surges above 1,5/1000 inhabitants in that respective town.


6. “Drive in” shows are permitted only if the persons in the vehicle are members of the same family or represent groups of maximum 3 persons. Concerts, shows, and public and private festivals or other cultural events performed in open air are permitted with the participation of maximum 500 people which are seated on chairs situated at a minimum 2 m distance from each other and if participants wear protection masks.


7. Religious services, including private religious services, can be performed indoors and/or outdoors near churches, with the observance of the prevention measures established by joint Order of the Health Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs..


8. Recreational activities performed outside such as cycling, hiking, running, hunting, fishing, climbing and others such like these, may be carried out only with the participation of maximum 10 persons who do not live together.


9. Private events may be carried out indoors only with the participation of maximum 50 persons and with the observance of the socially distancing rules.


10. Private events may be carried out outdoors only with the participation of maximum 100 persons and with the observance of the socially distancing rules.


11. Workshops and tutoring classes for adults may be organized with maximum 50 persons inside and maximum 100 outside, with the observance of public health rules established by the health minister;


12. Authorities in the field of national defense and public order may organize and perform activities in open air under the supervision of a epidemiologist.


13. Public gatherings and meetings may be carried out outside with maximum 100 persons, if the following measures are observed:


a) wearing a mask to cover both the mouth and nose;


b) disinfection of hands for all persons participating at the meeting.


c) physical of 1 m between participants and ensuring 4 sm for each person;


14. Diplomatic events can be organized at the headquarters of embassies, in open air, while ensuring a minimum surface of 4 sm for each person;


Economic operators operating self-care facilities, gambling services, tourist accommodation as well as working activities in open space concepts have the obligation to respect the prevention norms established through joint Order of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment and Health Minister.


Economic operators performing activities involving management of exterior sport/fitness facilities must abide by the norms established by Joint Order of the Minister of Youth and Sport and Minister of Health. The same applies to economic operators performing balneary treatment.


Access on beaches is allowed, but only if the managers of the beaches can procure loungers for every person, with the observance of a minimum distance of 2 m between loungers, if such are used by persons from different families and with the observance of the prevention measures provided in a joint Order of the Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, Minister of Health and Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests.


Only 70% of the surface of a beach corresponding to a manager can be used for displaying loungers, the rest of 30% being destined for the sand beach. Free access is allowed on open beaches, with the observance of physical distance. A minimum 2m distance must be observed at all times.


Transport services


Flights performed by economic operators towards countries for which Romania requires that people quarantine/self-isolation when arriving on Romanian territory are suspended.


The following exceptions apply: (i) flights performed by state aircrafts, (ii) flights pertaining to transportation of cargo and mail, (iii) humanitarian flights or those who ensure services of medical emergencies, (iv) find and rescue interventions flights at the request of public authorities in Romania (v) flights with the right to transport technical intervention teams at the request of economic operators based in Romania, (vi) non-commercial technical landings, (vii) flights for positioning aircrafts without commercial cargo (ferry), (viii) flights for aircrafts maintenance; (ix) charter flights for transporting seasonal workers or for repatriation of foreign citizens from Romania to other states with the endorsement of the Romanian authorities, (x) charter flights for transportation of workers as provided in Communication no. 3 regarding implementation of the Green Lanes based on the Guidelines regarding management of frontiers issued by the European Commission.


Air travel shall be performed with the observance: (i) of the restriction measures referring to hygiene and disinfection of shared spaces, equipment, means of transportation and aircrafts, (ii) procedures and protocols in place in airports, aircrafts (iii) code of conduct for the airports personnel and for passengers as well as (iv) information of personnel and passengers, in order to prevent contamination of passengers and personnel that work in the transportation sector;


The same applies for railroad and road transportation which also have to abide by the norms provided by Joint Order of the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communication, Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Health.


General measures


In closed public spaces, commercial spaces, public means of transportation and at the work place it is mandatory to wear a mask, so that both the mouth and nose are covered.


Also, people over the age of 5 must wear a mask in open spaces such as markets, fairs, waiting areas (in bus stations, platforms etc.,) boardwalks, places where public gatherings take place, outside tourist attractions, in specific timelines as such shall be established by Decision of the County/Municipal Committee of Emergency Situations.


It is prohibited to walk in groups of more than 6 persons who do not belong to the same family as well as forming such groups.


Quarantine or self-isolation may be imposed in specific areas in Romania, in case of high epidemiologic and biologic risks.


Activities performed by nurseries, kindergartens and after schools are permitted during the summer break only with the observance of the conditions established by joint Order of the Minister of Education and Research, Minister of Labor and social security and Minister of Health.


Schools/Universities may organize and carry out exams for students and teachers as well as other activities which are specific for them, with the observance of the measures established by Joint Order of Minister of Education and Research and Minister of Health;


Foreign citizens and stateless persons are forbidden from entering Romanian territory, through state border crossing points, except for the following categories:


  • they are family members of Romanian citizens;
  • they are family members of citizens of other Member States of the European Union or of the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation, residing in Romania;
  • they hold a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to the residence permit issued by the Romanian authorities or a document equivalent to aforementioned issued by the authorities of another state, as per European Union laws;
  • they are traveling for professional interest, evidenced by visa, residence permit or other document equivalent, respectively health professional, researchers in the medical field, health professionals for geriatric care as well as drivers and other categories involved in the transportation of goods which ensure such necessary transportation;
  • they are diplomatic or consular personnel, personnel of international organizations, military personnel or personnel who can provide humanitarian aid;
  • they are passengers in transit, including those repatriated as a result of granting consular protection;
  • they are passengers traveling on imperative grounds;
  • they are persons who need international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
  • they are traveling for academic purposes;
  • highly qualified workers, if their employment is necessary for economic purposes and their activity cannot be postponed.
  • transborder workers, seasonal agricultural workers, seafaring personnel;
  • members of international sport delegations participating in competitions organized in Romania.

In the absence of contrary regulations imposed at a national level, the above measure does not apply to foreign citizens and stateless people coming from third countries for which the travel restriction measures have been lifted at a EU level.


 



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