Last updated July 9, 2021

Today’s Status, Looking Towards Fall 2021 — 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. With this news, we are extremely optimistic and making plans for a Fall 2021 semester in Romania!

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

As of June 1st. Romania’s entry policy changed, allowing travelers from the US, which is on the Green list.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. 

The country lists are updated on a weekly basis, so we will keep this section updated if things change, but that’s how things stand now.

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 a handful of popular regional destinations, with daily flights to cities in Romania + throughout Europe.

Daily Life

As of July 9th, Romania reports 0.8 active cases per 100,000. However, there is some uncertainty about reliability of reported numbers because of limitations of the healthcare system and cultural limitations on testing reliability. 

Currently, Romania has one of the most successful vaccination-campaigns in the European Union.

CPS has indicated a willingness to allow 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 will be more strict rules about wearing masks, changing scrubs, mandatory Covid testing for symptoms of any illness, 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

Activities are closely monitored and accessibility does depend on the current virus trends. Lately, the country has been imposing restrictions in regions based on their Covid-19 incident rate — for example, in regions where there are 4 cases for every 1,000 people in a 14 day span, all gyms are closed. For localities with a 7.5 / 1,000 incident rate, there is a stricter quarantine.

The government of Romania has announced that restriction measures are being lifted — Masks are now just mandatory in closed public spaces, crowded public spaces, and on public transport. Curfews for restaurants are extended from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM. We’re seeing increased capacity limits for restaurants, cafes, and gyms, events, etc. or no capacity limits if all in attendance are 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 will have to strictly practice social distancing, wear masks, submit to temperature checks, and follow travel restrictions during their semester. 

If things stay the same once our volunteers are back in Romania, 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 will likely not allow 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.

The good news though is that Romania is incredibly charming and tourists (and even ILP volunteers) typically overlook this gem of a country. There is so much to explore here and you’ll get to see and do so much more than volunteers who leave the country get to do. Our blog is full of ideas that will keep your vacation plans full.

Okay, now what?  Should I still apply for Romania

Yes! We have seen great improvements in this country that are making all the difference for a Fall 2021 semester (and future semesters). 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).

So we say start your application now!