Last updated October 13, 2021

Today’s Status, Looking Towards Spring 2022 — Green

American travelers are now allowed to visit Romania! We have the details below, but traveling from the US and being vaccinated means volunteers are again allowed to help out in the orphanage again — something we are so thrilled about.

Vaccination is required for Romania volunteers. With this news, we are happy to announce a program here for the Fall 2021 semester (and are hopeful for future semesters at this location).

Check below to get more details on some key aspects that we’re watching. Our goal is to keep things current with weekly updates, so check back frequently. 

Getting There

Currently, the country is allowing visitors from all over the world, but depending on where you are traveling from comes with different restrictions. If your country (and countries you have visited in the past 14 days) is on the Green list, you can bypass the PRC negative test required for Yellow countries, and the 14-day quarantine required for Red countries. 

Those who are fully vaccinated can also bypass quarantining and testing requirements. ILP volunteers must be fully vaccinated for their semester in Romania.

ILP volunteers don’t need visas prior to departure to Romania so we’re not waiting on that.

All airports in Romania are currently open. The government has eased commercial flight and travel restrictions to countries with documented COVID-19 case reductions. Popular airlines like TAROM and Wizz Air have resumed itineraries to several popular regional destinations, with daily flights to cities in Romania + throughout Europe.

Daily Life

ILP Romania volunteers must be vaccinated (no exceptions). 

Because the orphanage works with children that have medical conditions that make them high risk, the local Child and Family Services department is requiring that anyone working with the children must be vaccinated.

As of October 13, Romania reports 81.8 active cases per 100,000. Over the past few months this fall, there has been an increase in cases (though reported numbers are still vastly lower than cases currently in the United States).  Another element to consider is the uncertain reliability of reported numbers because of limitations of the healthcare system and cultural limitations on testing reliability.

CPS currently allows vaccinated volunteers who follow strict Covid safety measures to work with the orphanage. We are so grateful for the opportunity, even with this requirement. 

Only those who are vaccinated can participate in the Romania program for the time being.

There are more strict rules about wearing masks, changing scrubs, strict handwashing, mandatory Covid testing for symptoms any time you become sick, and some travel parameters. (We have more info on what travel may look like for your semester in another section).

Locals are able to shop, visit cafes, hang out in parks, spend time in some museums, etc. There are some restrictions like limited capacity for indoor dining, but things are looking really good as far as daily life and activities go. 

Out & About

Walking around, you’ll see people wearing masks and those who are not, even though there are fines for not complying. ILP volunteers will need to wear masks while out and about, while riding public transportation, when visiting stores and shops, etc. When it comes to restaurants, masks are required until you get your food.

There’s a rollout of new restrictions that heavily depend on your vaccination status. Entry is restricted to movie theaters, theaters, restaurants, and gyms unless you are fully vaccinated.  There is a weekend curfew for those not vaccinated.

As a reminder: While the general public is observing health and safety standards, it’s vitally important that volunteers are strictly adhering to all preventative measures to help protect your health and the health of the kids you’re volunteering with. Volunteers strictly practice social distancing, wear masks, submit to temperature checks, and follow travel restrictions during their semester.

You can plan on traveling all around this pretty country. Some of our favorite spots in all of Europe are hiding in Romania!

Think about exploring castles on the weekend and experiencing some of the best hiking in this part of the world. Romania is full of tiny mountain villages, charming cobblestone streets, glittering Black Sea vacations, cafes galore, and more than a few of the prettiest towns we’ve ever seen. Just take a peek at the ILP blog if you need ideas on where to vacation.

Romania’s Child Protective Services is currently not  allowing anyone in the orphanage if they have traveled internationally. Currently we are planning to have most of your vacation period for the semester be in-country. However, there is a likelihood that out-of-country travel will be allowed at the end of the semester after service at the orphanage has ended but details are yet to be determined.

Policies for destinations in Europe are constantly changing — it may be an option to visit a handful of countries which allow vaccinated travelers, or those who require a negative test previous to arrival. Lately, we’ve seen that nearly all European countries are requiring that travellers be vaccinated. Europe vacations will only be an option for vaccinated volunteers. 

Another thing to keep in mind are all the vacation opportunities in-country. Romania is incredibly charming —  most tourists (and even ILP volunteers) typically overlook this gem of a country.  We hope you take the opportunity to explore all the things Romania has to offer. Our blog is full of ideas that will keep your vacation plans full.

Can I still apply for Romania? 

Absolutely! We have volunteers here for the Fall 2021 semester, so if you’re considering volunteering this Spring, we’d recommend getting a jump on your application ASAP! Or if you’re considering traveling in Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or even Spring 2023, now is a great time to start your application for those semesters as well.

The main thing is getting vaccinated — at this time, only vaccinated volunteers will be allowed to work in the orphanage with the children (it may also make the difference between where you can and can’t travel outside of Romania on vacation).

We are so excited for volunteers to be back in Romania after so long!

What is traveling and living in Romania like right now?

For Romania, cases have stayed relatively low, and things have slowly been opening back up both for domestic and international tourism. We’re seeing some of the same precautions you’d take at home (like wearing a mask and social distancing). Just like there is a risk to go out in Utah right now, there will be risks to traveling anywhere, including Romania.