Romania extends night time curfew to curb new coronavirus cases

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A police officer wearing a mask walks to a car that she stopped in order to check for movement paperwork during the third day of restricted movement in Bucharest

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's centrist government extended a night time curfew to stem a rise in new coronavirus infections but will relax movement restrictions for pending religious holidays, authorities said late on Thursday.

The European Union state reported 6,651 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its highest daily tally this year, bringing the total number of cases to 919,794 since the pandemic reached over a year ago. The government, which has extended a state of alert, has stopped short of enforcing a strict lockdown.

Officials said they will restrict the movement of people from 8 p.m. and shut down shops from 6 p.m. from Friday until Sunday in towns with more than 4 cases per 1,000 people. Movement will be restricted from 8 p.m. throughout the week in towns with 7.5 cases per 1,000 people.

However, the curfew will be relaxed for people who want to attend upcoming Passover, Catholic and Orthodox Easter religious services, officials said.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Christopher Cushing)