Monitoring the cultural domain in Romania during the Covid-19 crisis


Release date: April 8, 2020

The crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic forced some restrictive measures, primarily of physical / social distancing, aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. The measures taken to protect the health and safety of citizens in this context have affected the whole society, destabilizing the economy, the functioning of institutions and the private sector.

The timeline of the measures taken by the Romanian Government due to the COVID-19 pandemic that also affected the cultural domain:

March 8th, 2020

Public or private activities that involve the participation of more than 1000 individuals are prohibited. [SOURCE]

March 11th, 2020

The measures are tightened: it is forbidden to organize cultural, religious, sporting or entertainment events with the participation of more than 100 individuals in an enclosed space. Also, schools and universities are closed until at least March 22nd. [SOURCE]

March 16th, 2020

The state of emergency is declared [SOURCE], [SOURCE]. Romania exceeds the threshold of 101 individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus and enters the third prevention scenario[SOURCE], which provides for an even more drastic restriction on the possibility of individuals to participate in group events. According to the statement of the National Committee for Emergency Situations: “Cultural, scientific, artistic, religious, sporting and entertainment activities, involving more than 50 individuals, performed in closed spaces, including those performed in spa treatment rooms, fitness centres, SPA salons, beauty salons, gambling halls and casinos are restricted” [SOURCE].

March 21st, 2020

Military Ordinance no. 2 stipulates that groups larger than three individuals are prohibited outdoors and leaving the home within the 22:00-06:00 time period without a valid reason is forbidden. Also, during the day it is recommended to leave the home only for the strictly necessary activities provided by the ordinance. Shopping centres are closed, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. [SOURCE]

March 24th, 2020

Military Ordinance no. 3 clarifies the rules of movement in public spaces for individuals, imposing the need for a Declaration on One’s Own Responsibility for any departure outside of the residence. In order to protect the elderly, a special time slot is reserved for them, between 11:00-13:00, for public outings. Also, the military forces are co-opted to maintain public order. [SOURCE]

March 30th, 2020

Military Ordinance no. 4 stipulates the rules for the movement of individuals in public, tougher sanctions are stipulated for the violation of isolation and quarantine, as well as the fact that the media institutions will allow the necessary time slots to disseminate official messages of public utility. [SOURCE]

March 30th, 2020

Military Ordinance no. 6 imposes the quarantine of Suceava County and of neighbouring municipalities, limiting the number entrances and exits within this area to freight transports and medical emergencies. [SOURCE]

April 14th, 2020

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, has signed the Decree extending by 30 days the emergency state instituted by Decree no. 195/March 16th, 2020 [SOURCE].

May 14th, 2020

Decision no. 24/14.05.2020 is emitted instituting the state of alert on national level and the measures preventing and controlling infections in the context of the epidemiological situation generated by the SARSCoV-2 virus. The Annex of the Decision 24/14.05.2020 allows the cultural activities taking place in specific spaces, respectively in museums, libraries and exhibition halls and which are conducted respecting the measures for prevention and protection.

May 14th, 2020

Emergency Ordinance nr. 70/14.5.2020 was emitted. It stipulates the following:

  1. Extension of the allowance provisioned by Ordinance no. 30/2020, at art. XI and art. XV up to the 31st of May 2020.
  2. The possibility to reuse the already acquired ticket for events or festivals that were programmed in the period March 8th – September 30th, for the next edition or to transform it in vouchers that can be used for other ulterior cultural activities. In case the voucher is not used for the acquisition of products or services by September 30th 2021, latest, the organiser will reimburse all sums received from the consumer until December 31st 2021.
  3. The institution of a temporary measure regarding the tax on the incomes subject to taxes obtained in Romania by non-residents from activities carried out in the sector of organising events – cultural, artistic, sportive, scientific, educational or entertainment – as well as from the effective participation to this kind of events. [SOURCE]

May 15th, 2020

The Ministry of Culture emitted the Order no. 2.855/830/2020 regarding the necessary measures for preventing contamination with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and for ensuring the proper development of activities in the cultural sector in conditions of sanitary safety. These measures refer to two types of instituțions: museums and art galleries, respectively libraries. Their provisions regard the employees and individual responsibility, access and contact with the visiting public, employers as well as the personnel working in offices.

May 30th, 2020

Minister for Culture, Bogdan Gheorghiu, and Minister for Health, Nelu Tătaru, have signed the joint Order no. 2879/967/2020 regarding the measures to be taken in order to prevent contamination with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and to ensure safe sanitary conditions for the development of activities in museums and art galleries, libraries, in the field of film and audiovisual production, activities in open air and drive-in. The Order was published in the Official Gazette, part 1, No 460/29.V.2020.

The measures apply to the alert state, in the context of gradual removal of restrictions, corroborated with the necessity to ensure safe sanitary conditions for the activity of cultural institutions and the economic entities whose object of activity is in the cultural sector. The public institutions and economic entities undertaking activities in the cultural and creative sector will abide by the provisions of the order. [SOURCE]