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THE STATE OF EMERGENCY – ROMANIA, MARCH, 2020

Relevant provisions: 

  • Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 1/1999 (hereinafter referred to as GEO no. 1/1999) regarding the state of siege and the state of emergency; 
  • The Presidential Decree no. 195/16.03.2020 regarding the state of emergency established in Romania; 
  • Military Ordinance no. 1/2020 regarding the first emergency measures concerning the crowds of persons and cross-border movement of goods; 
  • Military Ordinance no. 2/2020 regarding the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Definition: 

According to GEO no. 1/1999, the state of emergency represents the set of exceptional measures of political, economic and public order nature applicable throughout the territory of the entire country or in some administrative-territorial units, rules that are established in the following situations: a) the existence of serious current or imminent dangers regarding the national security or the functioning of constitutional democracy; b) in case of imminent disasters or disasters already caused that make it necessary to prevent, limit or eliminate the consequences of disasters.

Conditions. Procedure. Applicability 

The state of emergency is established by the Romanian President by decree, which has to be countersigned by the prime-minister and published in the Official Journal of Romania. The state of emergency has to be authorized by the Romanian Parliament. 

Depending on the evolution of the danger situations, the President of Romania, with the approval of the Parliament, can extend the duration of the established state of emergency and can extend or narrow its scope. 

In case the state of emergency is established, the coordination will be carried out by the Ministry of Administration and Interior. The Community Police can be militarized, entirely or only in certain administrative-territorial units, which will carry out their activity under the Ministry of Administration and Interior. 

During the state of siege or the state of emergency, there can be issued military ordinances, respectively orders, which are mandatory, according to the law. 

During the state of emergency, the military ordinances are issued by: a) the Minister of Administration and Interior or his replacement of law, when the state of emergency was instituted throughout the country; b) by the officers empowered by the minister of administration and interior or by their legal substitutes, when the state of emergency was established in certain administrative-territorial units.

During the state of emergency, measures may be ordered: a) implementation of the plans already approved, according to the provisions of the present emergency ordinance and of the decree by which they were established; b) organizing and ensuring with priority the transport, communications, products, resources and infrastructure for the needs of the defense forces; c) closing the state border, entirely or in the area where the state of emergency was established, intensifying the control at the border crossing points that remain open, as well as monitoring the border for its entire length; d) requisition of goods, according to the law. 

According to the Presidential Decree no. 195/2020 (published in Official Journal from 16.03.2020), in Romania was established the state of emergency for a period of 30 days as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. During the state of emergency, the exercise of the following rights was restricted: a) free movement; b) the right to intimate, family and private life; c) inviolability of the domicile; d) the right to education; e) freedom of assembly; f) the right of private property; g) the right to strike; h) the economic freedom.

According to the decree, in the economic area: 

  1. the beneficiaries of the European funds affected by the emergency measures adopted by this decree may decide, together with the managing authorities / intermediary bodies, to suspend the financing contracts concluded according to the law;
  2. the measures will be taken to ensure the continuity in supply, respectively extraction, production, processing, transport, distribution, supply, maintenance service and repair of resources and raw and / or semi-processed materials necessary for the proper functioning of the national energy system, as well as ensuring the continuity of its function and all public utility services.
  3. during the state of emergency, the prices for medicines and medical equipment, for the food of strict necessity and for the services of public utility (electricity and heat, gas, water supply, sanitation, fuels, etc.) can be capped, within the price limit average of the last 3 months before declaring the state of emergency.

In the health area: the reimbursement of the medical leave granted to persons quarantined for COVID-19, will be carried out with priority by providing additional amounts in the FNUASS budget at the required level. 

In the labor area: 

  1. the provisions of the Law no. 19/2020 are not applicable to the employees who work in the national defence system, prison, public medical units and other categories laid down by the order of the Internal Affairs Minister, Economy, Energy and Business Environment Minister, Transportation, Infrastructure and Communication Minister; this employees have the right to a raise salary in the amount provided by the Law no. 19/2020 (75%) in case the other parent does not benefit from this legal provisions;
  2. the decree regulates a derogation from the provisions of Law no. 81/2018, respectively, until the end of the state of emergency, the employer – whether private or public – can decide unilaterally the home-working or the tele-working; 
  3. until the end of the state of emergency, there will be no control from the Territorial Labor Inspectorates, excepting the controls made by the Labor and Social Protection Minister and by the Labor Inspection in certain cases (commission of offences with higher social danger level and investigation of work accidents); 
  4. until the end of the state of emergency it is prohibited any kind of collective labor dispute in certain areas;
  5. the collective contracts and agreements are maintained until the end of the state of emergency;
  6. the decree regulates a derogation from the provisions of Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2010 concerning the leave and the monthly indemnity for childcare – the person entitled will keep the incentive insertion in case of losing the job because of COVID-19 epidemic;
  7. the requests in order to obtain the social benefits can be send by electronic means; 
  8. the validity of the certificates (including the ones regarding the disabilities) or attestations issued in the field will be extended until the end of the state of emergency. 

GEO no. 30/2020 for the amendments and additions to some normative acts, as well as for establishing measures for the social protection in the context of the epidemiological situation determined by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, sets more amendments and additions in the labor and social insurance field. 

In the justice area: 

  1. any statute of limitation and deterioration period will not run, and, if they have started to run, they are suspended pursuant to the present decree; therefore, the provisions of art. 2.532 pt. 9 thesis II of Law no. 287/2009 regarding the Civil Code or other contrary legal provisions will not be applicable;
  2. during the state of emergency, only the urgent files will continue to be judged (the cases will be established by the Supreme Court or the governing bodies of the courts of appeal); taking into account the circumstances, the judges can set short hearings, including from one day to another or even on the same day;
  3. when it is possible, the courts can set the necessary measures in order to judge by videoconference and also can send all the procedural documents by fax, electronic mail or by other means that ensures the transmission of the document and the confirmation of its receipt;
  4. the hearings can be postponed in case of request send by an isolated, quarantined person or hospitalized in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; in case the judges will not agree with the postponement request, they will postpone the decision in order for the parties to submit written conclusions; 
  5. the enforcement procedures will continue only if they will be in compliance with the health discipline provisions established by the National Committee on Special Emergency Situations, in order to protect the rights to life and physical integrity of the forced execution participants; 
  6. the activity in the criminal prosecution procedure and the activity of the judges of rights and freedoms will be limited to certain cases; all the other cases that are not considered to be urgent will be suspended; 
  7. during the state of emergency, all the cases that are not considered to be urgent will be suspended, without the need of any request; during the state of emergency, the pending appeal terms will be discontinued and therefore, after the end of the state of emergency, there will be issued new terms, of the same duration; in case the parties appealed the decisions before the decree was established, the case files will be submitted to the competent courts after the end of the state of emergency; 
  8. all the auctions established in the criminal files in order to sell the seized movables are suspended by law; 
  9. the statute of limitation regarding the criminal liability is suspended in the cases where no criminal prosecution documents are carried out or where the criminal case is suspended according to this decree. 

In addition to this, during the state of emergency, the classes from all the educational institutions are suspended. The legal deadlines established for solving the requests made in the exercise of the free access to information of public interest, as well as the requests are considered doubled. 

Through the Military Ordinance no. 1/2020 (published in Official Journal from 18.03.2020) were issued several measures in order to protect the citizens, respectively: 

  • the activity of serving and consuming food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, organized by restaurants, hotels, cafes or other public places, in the spaces designed for this purpose – inside or outside the location -, is suspended; 
  • this kind of entities are allowed to provide the services as “drive-in”, “room-service” or “delivery”;  
  • all cultural, scientific, artistic, religious, sports, entertainment or gambling, spa treatment and personal care activities, held in confined spaces, are suspended;
  • it is forbidden to organize and conduct any event involving more than 100 people in open spaces; 
  • all the flights performed from Romania to Spain and from Spain to Romania are suspended, for a period of 14 days, starting with March 18, 2020, 6:00 pm – current time in Romania; the measure in order to suspend the flights performed from Romania to Italy and from Italy to Romania, is extended for a period of 14 days, starting with March 23, 2020; 
  • isolated persons at home, quarantined or hospitalized, as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, are forbidden to leave home/the location where they are placed without the approval of the competent authorities.

According to the Military Ordinance no. 2/2020, there were taken several measures: 

  • except the urgent dental interventions, starting with 22.03.2020, 10 p.m., the activity in the dental medicine offices is temporarily suspended; 
  • starting with 22.03.2020, 10 p.m., all the retail activities of products and services in the commercial centers in which several economic operators operate, except for the sale of food, veterinary or pharmaceutical products and of cleaning services, are temporarily suspended; 
  • people can circulate outside the house but only in groups of maximum 3 persons;
  • religious services will be held without public and can be transmitted online;
  • no more than 8 persons can attend at weddings, baptisms and funerals; 
  • the local public administration authorities have the obligation to identify and keep records of persons of age over 65 years, without supporters or other form of assistance, and to ensure their support in order to minimize their exposure outside their houses; 
  • as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the persons isolated at home who leave the location where they were placed without the approval of the competent authorities, will be considered persons with an increased risk of contagiousness and will be led by the public order forces and placed in institutionalized quarantine, under guard;
  • as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the quarantined persons who leave the location where they were placed, without the approval of the competent authorities, are quarantined for a new period of 14 days; 
  • between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. it is recommended that the displacement of persons outside the home should be carried out only for the following reasons: 
  1. displacement in professional interest, between the home and the place(s) were the professional activity is carried out and back;
  2. displacement in personal interest in order to provide goods that cover the basic needs of the persons and the pets(s), as well as goods necessary for the professional activity; 
  3. displacement in order to obtain medical assistance that cannot be delayed nor carried out remotely;
  4. displacement for justified reasons, such as caring/accompanying the child, assisting elderly, sick or disabled persons or death of a family member;
  5. short trips, near the house, related to the individual physical activity of the people and the needs of the pets/pets;
  6. in case the persons will go out of the house between the hours of 10 p.m. – 6:00 a.m., they will be required to present: the service card, the certificate issued by the employer/a statement on their own responsibility (if they are out for professional purposes) or a statement on their own responsibility (if they are out for personal purposes); 
  • starting with 22.03.2020, 10 p.m., it is forbidden for foreign citizens and stateless persons to enter Romania; exceptions: 
  1. in case they transit the territory of Romania by transit aisles organized by agreements with the neighboring states; 
  2. they are family members of Romanian citizens;
  3. 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; 
  4. they are persons which hold a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to the residence permit issued by the Romanian authorities according to the GEO no. 194/2002 regarding the regime of foreigners in Romania, republished, with subsequent amendments and additions, or a document equivalent to them issued by the authorities of other states, according to the law of the European Union;
  5. they are traveling in a professional interest, proven with visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  6. they are diplomatic or consular personnel, personnel of international organizations, military personnel or personnel who can provide humanitarian aid;
  7. they are passengers in transit, including those repatriated as a result of granting consular protection;
  8. they are passengers traveling for imperative reasons (medical or family);
  9. they are persons who need international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.