Arafat: In Romania, we will not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated

The head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), Secretary of State Raed Arafat, said that in Romania the authorities have not thought to discriminate against and apply restriction rules to people who are not vaccinated, but it is possible that in certain areas abroad where stricter anti-COVID restrictions apply, Romanian citizens will be required to be vaccinated in order to travel there. "It doesn't mean [ed.n. - the vaccination] that you're back to normalcy (...) There may be some international meetings that tell you 'you can come if you're vaccinated'. It's possible, we'll see. We expect that to happen as well. In Romania we said that we will not discriminate and we will not apply such rules, but abroad, especially in areas where it was now strictly forbidden for anyone to go, it took place only online, they might say that you can't come unless you are vaccinated," the head of DSU told Saturday evening private broadcaster Antena 3. Raed Arafat added that he is looking forward to getting vaccinated and that the most important aspect of the COVID-19 vaccination is that even if a person then gets mild forms of coronavirus, they will not get severe forms and sequelae of the lungs or other organs that might last for long periods of time or even for life. At the same time, the head of DSU stated on Saturday evening, in another phone-in with private broadcaster DIGI 24, that it is possible that a new significant increase of COVID-19 cases might occur after the winter holidays. "Clearly after the holidays we might have an increase again, it depends how big and steep it is, I have said on other occasions, it is not the same [ed.n. - for cases] to rise slowly or in a controlled manner, to stop at a lower plateau or rocket and we have a major impact on the health system, as we had 2-3 weeks ago, especially in the ICUs," said Arafat. He pointed out that the start of vaccination does not mean that the end of the pandemic and the beginning of relaxation, as it is expected that the state of alert will be extended again by the authorities. "I am not the one who decides, it is proposed at a high level, but I do not think that we are past the moment to give up the state of alert, we are not yet out of the woods, we might still see increases again. It [ed.n. - the state of alert] could be extended, it will be discussed next week," Raed Arafat said. Also asked about the possibility of reopening schools after the end of the winter holidays, the head of DSU further showed that a decision in this regard will be announced by the Ministries of Education and Health. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Marius Fratile; EN - editor: Simona Iacob)

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