World, Middle East

Iraq takes further steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Authorities announce plans to reopen airports, border gates as curfew hours are reduced

Ali Jawad   | 16.07.2020
Iraq takes further steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions

BAGHDAD

Iraqi authorities eased a nationwide curfew Thursday that was introduced to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic and announced a schedule for further easing of international travel. 

The government said the Higher Committee for Health and Public Safety decided to amend curfew hours from 9.30 p.m. to 6 a.m., (1630GMT to 0300GMT), effective Sunday.

Malls will reopen with adherence to protective restrictions against the virus, underscoring the importance of wearing masks in public and keeping social distances.

The previous curfew had been from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. (1600GMT to 0300GMT).

It also resolved to lift the curfew completely after the Muslim Eid Al-Adha festival in early August, while adhering to preventive restrictions, and will reopen airports, as well as the Al-Munthiriya and al-Shaib border gates with Iran and the Safwan crossing with Kuwait for trade starting July 23.

Iraq implemented restrictions and suspended flights because of the pandemic in March.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Iraq reached 86,148, including 3,522 deaths and 54,316 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health late Thursday. 

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara


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