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Romania: Epidemiological screening

Practical solutions for Employers

Under Order no. 874/81/2020 on compulsory wearing of a protective mask, on conducting epidemiological screening and compulsory disinfection of the hands in order to prevent contamination with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the state of alert („The Screening Order”), employers must conduct epidemiological screening by measuring body temperature and observing respiratory symptoms.

Article 4 paragraph 1 of the General Data Protection Regulation („GDPR”), „personal data” refers to „any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”. Based on this definition and the criteria set in Opinion 4/2007 on the concept of personal data issued by the Article 29 Working Party, someone’s body temperature is arguably information relating to a natural person if in conjunction with other information it can lead to distinguishing that person from others.

This means that a situation where data on body temperature results from conducting epidemiological screening and potential respiratory symptoms are being registered and outlined so that a connection between those data and an individual’s identity can be established could raise concerns as to observance of the GDPR in terms of personal data processing.

Without going into specifics related to these matters and in order to (i) avoid GDPR-related issues, (ii) avoid the time-consuming operation of keeping a ledger containing information on employees’ and visitors’ body temperature and, at the same time, to take into consideration (iii) the usefulness of procuring even a shred of evidence in case of an inspection by the authorities, a conceivable solution could be to write out a daily report stating that epidemiological screening was conducted as required by the Screening Order, without indicating the name, body temperature or symptoms of employees/visitors who have undergone epidemiological screening. However, in regard to visitors, the Screening Order requires the office/room/department which they intend to head to be registered in the report. In the event that certain employees have a body temperature higher than 37.3oC, it is advisable to state in the report that a certain number of employees, without identifying them, were refered to a general practitioner.