Romania Eases Lockdown and Bans Drive-in Cinemas

    TIFF drive-in TIFF drive-in photo: Tudor Giurgiu/Facebook

    BUCHAREST: The Romanian Parliament has approved easing the lockdown downgrading the previous state of emergency to a state of alert for 30 days while forbidding drive-in events. The Parliament's decision came as a surprise, because on 13 May the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) had announced the procedure for obtaining a license for drive-in events including cinemas and live concerts.

    According to the Government Ordinance any kind of public gathering in open spaces (meetings, processions, concerts, drive-ins) and cultural, artistic, scientific, sport or entertainment gatherings in closed spaces are forbidden.

    Some organisations in the film industry had already started to initiate drive-in projects. Among them is Tudor Giurgiu, who, with his team from the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), was one of the first to organise drive-in film screenings in Romania 15 years ago.

    “The Parliament has no reason to convince me that a drive-in event is more dangerous than working on a construction site or going to the park or to church. Maybe after 1 June 2020 reason will prevail and we will return to some kind of normalcy,” Giurgiu said. The TIFF plans to move its 2020 edition, which was supposed to start on 29 June, to the first half of August.

    A proposed amendment to the new law states that during the state of alert the activity of cinemas and film production, audiovisual studios, open-air events, public and private festivals, are allowed to take place if they follow the sanitary protection regulations set by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Health. According to sources, this amendment is supposed to persuade both ministries to come up with a legal frame for these activities to take place.