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Updated on: 1 August, 2021
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Romania has reached 1,083,841 as announced on Saturday, 1st of August 2021. Out of the total cases of confirmed infections with Covid-19, there were 1,047,767 cases recovered, while 34,286 were declared deceased. There are 51 persons in the emergency care, while a total of 8,704,268 RT-PCR tests and 1,855,687 of quick tests were made up to date.
Romania as a country is currently in the COVID-19 “green zone”, with an incidence of less than 1.5 per thousand inhabitants in all counties. Several relaxation measures have so far been launched across the country, which have come in time in line with the decline in the number of recorded cases of the corona virus. From 1 August 2021, new measures came into force to relax certain restrictions, particularly for outdoor events, but the wearing of protective masks indoors was not abolished.
The relaxation measures established in accordance with the provisions of Government Decision 730/2021 are maintained where the incidence is between 2 and 3 per thousand. The new measures which are if the incidence is below 2 per thousand, and if the incidence reaches between 2 and 3 per thousand it will go back to the situation prior to 1st of August 2021. If the incidence goes above 3 per thousand, the measures will be harshened, and measures applied, locally, according to incidence, in the localities.
COVID-19 vaccination in Romania started on 27 December 2020. The vaccination was declared free of charge and non-mandatory. As of March 2021, three types of vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford/ Astra Zeneca) were authorized to be used in Romania. Romania hit the threshold of 5 million people vaccinated with at least one dose on July 31. The Government had planned to reach this number by June.
By August 1, 5,005,436 people received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 4,858,584 were fully vaccinated. Over the past 24 hours, 7,330 received a Covid-19 vaccine, and 4,540 received the first dose. After more than 100,000 people were vaccinated daily at the beginning of May, the daily number dropped to about 10,000 or less in recent weeks.
Romania is second to last in Europe on the cumulative uptake of at least one vaccine dose among adults older than 18, with 31.5% of the population having received at least one dose, according to the Covid-19 vaccine tracker of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control
Today, Romania’s economy is showing good signs of recovery and is projected to grow at around 7 percent in 2021, making it one of the few EU economies expected to reach pre-pandemic growth levels this year. This is very promising. Yet the road ahead remains highly uncertain, and Romania faces several important challenges.
The pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of Romania’s institutions to adverse shocks, exacerbated existing fiscal pressures, and widened gaps in healthcare, education, employment, and social protection.
Poverty increased significantly among the population in 2020, especially among vulnerable communities such as the Roma, and remains elevated in 2021 due to the triple-hit of the ongoing pandemic, poor agricultural yields, and declining remittance incomes.
Frontline workers, low-skilled and temporary workers, the self-employed, women, youth, and small businesses have all been disproportionately impacted by the crisis, including through lost salaries, jobs, and opportunities.
The pandemic has also highlighted deep-rooted inequalities. Jobs in the informal sector and critical income via remittances from abroad have been severely limited for communities that depend on them most, especially the Roma, the country’s most vulnerable group.
Romania’s industrial production volume grew by 0.9 percent year-on-year in January 2021, following a 1.6 percent rise in the previous month. It was the fourth consecutive month of increase in industrial output, during the coronavirus pandemic. On a monthly basis, industrial output showed no growth in January 2021, after a 0.9 percent gain in December 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the TCLF industry, predominantly affected by delays in the supply of raw materials since the beginning of the pandemic in China. After the factories in China were closed, many brands and retailers moved production to Turkey. During the state of emergency (16 March 2020 – 14 May 2020), a stagnation of production was registered, with a 30% reduction in the export capacity of factories. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a decrease in orders of more than 40% compared to the previous year was registered, at the same time there was a decrease in production capacity due to layoffs in about 30% of factories.
According to the Federation of Employers of Textiles, Clothing and Leather (FEPAIUS), the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were reflected on several levels. There were difficulties in the supply of raw materials and accessories both due to the decrease in transport between Romania and Italy, China, and due to the cessation of activity of many Italian manufacturers, while Romania’s exports to Italy amount to 4.7 billion RON.
The immediate negative impact of the pandemic is the increase in the unemployment rate to 5.1% in November, compared to the January 2020 rate of 3.7%. The current unemployment rate is a setback, equal to what it was in the spring of 2016. One positive note is that the increase in the unemployment rate is slowing. It appears that more men are unemployed than women.A peak in job insecurity was reached during the lockdowns, when about 15% of employment contracts were suspended and 4% were terminated.
Nearly 20% of businesses in Romania were forced to either reduce or cease operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 19% of companies in Romania did not suspend their activity and had money to pay salaries. Of the companies still active, 10% were not able to pay their employees.
Factories have not been specifically asked to stop production, but they need to continue to monitor and follow advice and guidance from relevant authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health (MH guidance), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE guidance), the National Institute for Public Health (NIPH guidance) and the government (government guidance). The factories could keep up with their work if they have still valid orders and no workers have been infected.
Even after 18 months of the pandemic, the factories are struggling to keep up with the difficult times, whether uncertain status of orders, lack of raw materials or higher standards for the safety of the workers. Under the pandemic circumstances, factories are struggling to keep business going and this will be affected by the duration of the situation. Collective dismals and factory bankruptcies are not communicated as a specific issue publicly, but the experts reports that small factories faced with many workers dismissals and factories closure.
 DIgi 24 (2020), “Ce spune rata șomajului din România despre starea economiei”
 OECD (2020), “OECD Economic Outlook”
 Statista (2020), “Consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on company activities in Romania in 2020”
The Romanian government has attempted to mitigate the effects of the pandemic with the following measures:
 OECD (2020), “OECD Economic Outlook”
 Romania Journal (2020), “Up To 1 Bln. EUR COVID Scheme Funds For Pandemic Affected Romanian Businesses”
All employers need to assess the risks faced by their employees and visitors and implement measures to mitigate those risks, paying particular attention to vulnerable staff (such as those who are pregnant, with impaired immunity, on secondment or working away from home). Employers should inform their employees and, where relevant, recognized unions about their proposed measures.
The legislative changes that took place within the month of March 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty to the private sector when they are faced with making new business decisions.
Government regulations to protect employees were adopted on two levels. The first layer of measures was designed to support businesses in ensuring workers’ income regardless of the financial losses of the businesses. The second layer comprised of the H&S preventive measures issued by Ministry of Labour and Ministry for Workers regarding safety in the workplace.
Technical unemployment benefits are no longer paid from the state budget as of 1 July 2021, and employers who wish to apply the technical unemployment measure will have to pay for it from their own budgets.
This facility has been successively extended since the beginning of the pandemic, and the last deadline for the possibility to benefit from this support from the state for areas restricted due to the pandemic was 30th of June 2021, according to Government emergency Ordinance no. 211/2020.
The latest recommendations from the Centre for Supervision and Control of Transmissible Diseases are:
Employers’ Federation of Textiles, Clothing and Leather (FEPAIUS) has made a series of recommendations for authorities to support the factories in the textile industry:
Brands and retailers are being called on to endorse priorities for action to support the garment industry and protect workers from the impacts of the global crisis.
No specific information on specific actions undertaken by the brands to support suppliers and protect workers were reported.
As retailers have re-closed shops around the world again since the beginning of 2021, garment factories have faced second round of cancelation/delays of orders. This is an alarming rate with devastating impacts for thousands of garment workers. Urgent action is needed to protect their livelihoods during the shutdown and beyond.
The statement of priorities and commitments, COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry, reflects a broad consensus on joint action to protect garment workers’ income, health and employment and help manufacturers survive the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as to improve social protection for garment workers for the long term.
Organisations that endorse the statement commit to working with governments and financial institutions to mobilize sufficient funding to enable manufacturers to ensure business continuity including payment of wages, as well as income-support and job-retention schemes to address the impact of the crisis.
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Labour
Guidance to businesses in Romania
Emergency Ordinance 29/2020
Decision no. 217/2020 for the application of the provisions of Law no. 19/2020 on granting parents free days for the supervision of children, in the situation of temporary closure of the educational establishments
Emergency Ordinance no. 29/2020 regarding some economic and fiscal-budgetary measures
The guidance for use of PPE measures can be found here
15 recommendations on social behavior responsible for preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Federation of Employers of Textiles, Clothing and Leather (FEPAIUS)
Covid-19 Romanian Economic Impact Monitor