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23 May 2020 | 06:49 AM UTC

Tunisia: Authorities set to reopen mosques and restaurants from June 4 /update 10

Tunisian authorities set to reopen mosques and restaurants from June 4 amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions; abide by government directives

entry/exit
health
transportation
TUN

Event

Tunisian authorities announced on Friday, May 22, that mosques and restaurants will be allowed to reopen from Thursday, June 4, amid easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Lobna Jeribi, Minister in charge of Major Projects, announced that the resumption of schools is set to take place from Tuesday, May 26.

President Kais Saied announced on Wednesday, May 13, that new curfew hours will be in effect between 23:00 to 05:00 (local time).

On Monday, May 4, parts of the food and construction sector were allowed to resume operations, while half of government employees were allowed to return to work. Public transport services have also partially resumed their operations. Further easing of restrictions were implemented on Monday, May 11, including the reopening of clothing shops and malls. According to authorities, a broader relaxation of measures has been planned for Sunday, June 14, but will depend on the spread of COVID-19.

As of Saturday, May 23, health authorities have confirmed 1048 COVID-19 cases and 47 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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