Romania travel advice

Summary

Information and advice for British nationals travelling and living in Europe, following the result of the EU referendum.

Manchester City take on Steaua Bucaresti in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday 16 August 2016. See this information and advice page for travelling fans.

West Ham take on Astra Giurgiu in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday 18 August. See this information and advice page for travelling fans.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. See Terrorism.

Most visits to Romania are trouble-free.

If you need to contact the emergency services in Romania call 112.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Safety and security

Crime

Maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK. There is a risk of petty theft in large towns, especially Bucharest. Pickpockets and bag snatchers operate in crowded areas, particularly near exchange shops and hotels, on public transport (especially to the airport), in the main railway stations and inside airport terminals.

Organised attacks by groups, often including children, occur. The most common method is of distraction while several people, often the children, attempt to snatch watches and jewellery from pockets or from around the neck and wrist.

There have been reports of a scam involving thieves who present themselves as plain-clothes policemen. They flash a badge and ask to see passports and wallets. They count the money and give the documents back, but when they return the wallet, some of the money is missing.

Valuables including passports have been stolen from hotel rooms. Use the hotel safe and carry a photocopy of the information pages of your passport as ID.

There have been reports of credit or debit cards being ‘copied’ when used for payment in some bars and restaurants.

Road travel

You will need to pay a road toll ‘Ro vignette’ to use the national roads. You can buy the vignette (sticker) at border points and at most petrol stations. Failure to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine.

Observe the speed limit at all times. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and you have with you all documentation, including evidence of insurance.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. Don’t drink any alcohol if you are driving.

In winter, equip your car for extreme conditions. Road conditions are variable and secondary roads can be in a bad state of repair. Driving standards can be poor. Look out for double parked cars, people suddenly braking to avoid a pothole, horse-drawn carts, livestock and stray dogs, particularly in rural areas, running in front of the vehicle.

Carry the following equipment: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, red warning triangles and a fluorescent jacket.

If your vehicle is damaged before you arrive in Romania, ask a Romanian Customs or Police Officer to write a report on the damage so that you have no problems when leaving. If any damage occurs inside the country, a report must be obtained at the scene of the accident.

In 2014 there were 1,818 road deaths in Romania. This equates to 9.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2014.

See the European Commission,AA and RAC guides to driving in Romania.

Taxis

Yellow taxis in Bucharest should list prices on the side of the vehicle and display a company name. There are frequent reports of foreign visitors being overcharged by taxi drivers.

Rail travel

Thieves operate on trains, so make sure all valuables are safe.

Terrorism

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Local laws and customs

It is illegal to change money on the streets. You should change money only in recognised exchange shops, banks and hotels.

The Romanian authorities treat all drug-related and sex offences very seriously. The age of consent is 18. If you are convicted, you can expect a prison sentence.

Homosexuality is no longer illegal, but attitudes are conservative and the gay community keeps a low profile.

Most airports and military bases will have signs prohibiting photography. Ask permission before photographing anything potentially sensitive (eg official buildings, police cars).

Entry requirements

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

Visas

You don’t need a visa to enter Romania. British citizens who enter Romania have the right to stay for a period of 3 months from the date of entry. If you intend to stay for a longer period than 3 months, you can apply for a registration certificate issued by the Romanian Office for Immigration as either self-employed, an employee, self-supported, or as a student.

Some British nationals travelling with minors who hold Romanian citizenship (irrespective of whether they hold citizenship of other countries) are being prevented from leaving the country without notarised parental consent from the minor’s non-travelling parent/s. While enforcement of this may vary at borders, British nationals travelling with minors who hold Romanian citizenship should obtain notarised parental consent before departure from Romania.

A list of the public notaries can be found on the website of the National Union of Public Notaries from Romania.

Working in Romania

If you intend to work in Romania, you should register with the Romanian Office for Immigrants. No separate work permit is required. You can also register as self-employed. For further information on working in Romania, contact the General Inspectorate for Immigration at 15A, Lt. col. Marinescu C-tin Street, Sector 5, Bucharest; email: igi@mai.gov.ro.

Customs regulations

Information on customs regulations is available on the website of the National Customs Authority of Romania.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, transfer and exit from Romania.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

If you’re visiting Romania you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Romanian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Natural disasters

Earthquakes are not uncommon in southern and south-western Romania and small tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Money

Romania is largely a cash economy. While an increasing number of businesses do accept credit cards, it may be safer to use cash due to the risk of credit card fraud. There is now a large network of ATMs that accept standard international credit and debit cards. Check with your card provider whether you will be able to use these machines.

US dollars and sterling are not always easy to exchange for local currency, especially outside Bucharest. Euros are widely accepted. You may have difficulties using travellers’ cheques. Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes may not be accepted in banks and bureaux de change.

Contact FCO Travel Advice Team

This email service only offers information and advice for British nationals planning to travel abroad.

If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the consular assistance team on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

If you’re abroad and need emergency help, please contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

If you have a question about this travel advice, you can email us at TravelAdvicePublicEnquiries@fco.gov.uk

Before you send an email, make sure you have read the travel advice for the country you’re travelling to, and the guidance on how the FCO puts travel advice together.

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