KRG imposes new curfew restrictions until June 6 after spike in coronavirus cases

Travel within governorates, cities prohibited at night
General view of Erbil city's 100 meters road (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Interior on Monday (June 1) imposed new curfew restrictions across the Kurdistan Region until June 6, following a spike in the number of coronavirus infections.

The ministry said that all travel, including both pedestrian and vehicle traffic,  will be prohibited from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. in all governorates and cities of the Kurdistan Region, which the government described as a “total lockdown” for those hours.

Anyone who violates the travel restrictions will be punished according to Article 240 of the Iraqi Penal Code.

During the rest of the time, most businesses and government offices will be closed.

Officials encouraged residents to stay at home until the restrictions expire and to follow all public health guidelines.

On Sunday, health officials recorded 101 new cases of coronavirus infection in Sulaimani governorate and one additional death. There have been more than 300 new cases since May 13.

Bakeries will operate from 6 a.m. until noon. Pharmacies will remain open. Other businesses, or “places that provide service to the citizens” as the statement puts it, will be closed.

Additionally, all mosques, churches, and temples will be closed and all ceremonies that involve large gatherings of people, such as funerals, are prohibited.

The vegetable market will stay open and the mobile produce vendors will be allowed to work in the city.

The ministry added that only vehicles belonging to healthcare workers and the security forces will be allowed to travel during the curfew. Journalists will be allowed to work, but only if they have documents from the news outlets they are working for and the documents and permission should be for that specified day.

All ministries and departments of the government will be closed until the lockdown ends, except the immediate staff for the ministers, who will continue to work.

The interior ministry added that anyone who uses social media to ridicule the curfew or urge people to violate the restrictions and the lockdown will be prosecuted.

According to the health ministry, there have been 710 cases of coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region. Four hundred and twenty patients have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus infection, and seven have died from it.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 11:16 a.m.