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Romania’s government suspends flights to Spain, Italy until end of the month

Christian Fernsby |
Romania’s interior minister says flights to Italy and Spain, the countries that are the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, will be suspended for the rest of the month.

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Interior Minister Marcel Vela spoke late Thursday, joined by other other officials who announced the latest measures that will take effect under the state of emergency which was decreed in mid-March for one month, and will be extended until the middle of May.

Vela said fights to the two countries would be suspended for a further two weeks, starting April 14. Flights are currently suspended to a number of European countries where there are high numbers of coronavirus cases.

Vela urged Romanians to stay at home during the Easter holidays. „Staying at home, we will get back to normal quicker, something we all want,” he said.

Romania’s Orthodox Church has already said that churches will be closed for the Easter vigil which is usually attended by millions around the country.

Romania’s government has imposed a curfew after 10 pm, except for emergencies. Vela said there would be extra police patrols on Easter night. People who flout the new regulations face fines of 1,000 lei (207 euros).

Mindful that Romanians may be planning to return for the Easter holidays from Western Europe, interior ministry official Bogdan Despescu, said that Romanians would be placed in quarantine if they entered the country.

"You will stay in quarantine and not with your family," he said in a stark message.

The announcements ahead of Orthodox Easter on April 19, come after President Klaus Iohannis also appealed to Romanians to stay at home during the Easter holiday, warning that the outbreak could get worse if people didn’t respect the current restrictions.

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