March 21, 2020 / 9:16 PM / 5 months ago

Romania imposes curfew to slow coronavirus spread

FILE PHOTO: Cleaning staff uses disinfectants to clean a train of the Romanian Railway Service, in Bucharest, Romania, February 26, 2020. Picture taken February 26, 2020. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania’s centrist minority government will enforce a nationwide nighttime curfew at least until mid-April seeking to limit movement and prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, Interior Minister Marcel Vela said on Saturday.

The European Union state, which has recorded 367 coronavirus infections but no deaths to date, declared a state of emergency on March 16.

The curfew will restrict the movement of people from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. It will go into effect Monday night and extend through the 30-day state of emergency. Exceptions include workers and those who require medical help.

Authorities also decided to close the borders to foreigners, except residents, relatives of Romanian citizens and expatriate workers.

They will also shut down shopping malls and dental clinics, adding to a nationwide shuttering of restaurants and other gathering venues enforced earlier this week.

During the daytime, movement is allowed in groups smaller than three people.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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