In a press statement on Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis spoke about relaxing the pandemic rules once the state of emergency is over, on May 15, and said it will be possible to attend religious services in the open air, provided certain requirements are met.
“Religious services with believers can be resumed in the first phase in the church yard or in front of the church—on the outside,” Iohannis said. “The faithful will have to wear a mask and stand 1.5 m apart from each other”.
Many Romanians, including celebrities, doctors, and other intellectuals have called for a relaxation of measures regarding religious services. Among them, the president of the Romanian Academy, Ioan Aurel Pop, who wrote on Facebook that, “the return of Romanians to church would also increase the effectiveness of the fight against this terrible plague.”
During the state of emergency, religious services were officiated without the participation of the faithful. Now churches start preparing to meet the faithful outdoors. A parish in southern Romania tested 300 people from the region for the new coronavirus and found them all healthy.
Another parish in northeastern Romania has drawn flowers with a distance of 1.5 meters between them in its courtyard to help people keep the social distancing.