COVID-19: Azerbaijan to ease some special quarantine restrictions (UPDATED)
Taking into account the sanitary-epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, the total number of infections in the country and the dynamics of recovery of patients, the decision has been made to ease a number of other restrictions imposed under the special quarantine regime, the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers announced Friday.
“Based on the current sanitary-epidemiological situation, the number of active patients and the rate of infection, the following rules will be introduced in Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Lankaran cities and the Absheron district from 00:00 on 18 May 2020:
• the system of leaving the place of residence on the basis of an SMS permit, registration on the “icaze.e-gov.az” portal, service card or certificate of employment is abolished;
• restrictions on access to boulevards, parks and recreation areas are removed on the condition that people do not gather in groups of more than 10;
• on-site customer service in restaurants, cafés, tea houses, as well as all public catering establishments, is restored from 08:00 to 18:00 (except for the public catering establishments using hookah equipment);
Service in restaurants, cafés, tea houses, as well as all public catering establishments, must be carried out in accordance with the relevant sanitary-epidemiological rules and guidelines introduced by the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan during the pandemic. Adherence to these rules is the direct responsibility of managers and employees of public catering establishments, as well as customers using such services. Violation of the rules creates administrative and criminal liability provided by law.
At the same time, the following rules will be introduced across the country from 00:00 on 18 May 2020:
• the activities of museums and exhibition halls are restored;
• the ban on people aged above 65 leaving their homes is lifted. However, since people aged above 65 are at risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, it is recommended that they leave home only if necessary. At the same time, it is necessary not to go to crowded places, observe distance and use protective equipment.
The following restrictions remain in place during the special quarantine regime:
• with the exception of cargo transportation, suspension of access to and from the country by land and air;
• with the exception of special purpose vehicles, including ambulances, emergency response, rescue, as well as trucks, suspension of passenger transportation to Baku, Sumgayit and the Absheron district, as well as Ganja and Lankaran cities, and from other cities and districts of the country by land and air;
• suspension of the educational and teaching process in all educational institutions;
• limiting the number of employees working in government agencies in Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja and Lankaran cities and the Absheron district;
• with the exception of “ASAN Xidmət” and “DOST” service centers, suspension of collective and individual receptions of citizens in other state bodies;
• with the exception of funeral wakes, prohibition of religious ritual services, as well as the organization of mourning ceremonies in ceremonial halls, tents and other enclosed spaces;
• prohibition of wedding parties;
• suspension of all public events, including cultural and sports events;
• prohibition of services involving the organization of events, including the organization of birthday parties, weddings, engagements and similar ceremonies in a client's home or other places;
• prohibition of gathering in groups of more than 10 people in public places, including streets, boulevards, parks and other places;
• suspension of entertainment activities, including children's entertainment venues (including boulevards and parks);
• with the exception of museums and exhibition halls, suspension of other cultural facilities, as well as cinemas, theaters, gyms;
• with the exception of those with grocery stores and pharmacies in them, suspension of activities of large shopping centers and malls in the country;
• prohibition of the use of hookah equipment in public catering establishments;
• suspension of on-site customer service in restaurants, cafés, tea houses, as well as all public catering establishments in Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Lankaran cities and the Absheron district from 18:00 to 08:00;
• prohibition of family visits to patients in medical institutions;
• suspension of sports, health and rehabilitation services (except for medical services in this area);
• massage and bath services.
Activities in the areas allowed to operate during the pandemic must be carried out in accordance with the necessary social distancing and sanitary-epidemiological rules and guidelines provided by the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
We emphasize again that the fight against COVID-19 is a long-term process and preventive measures against the disease should become part of everyone's daily life. Therefore, in the current situation with COVID-19, we urge everyone to follow personal hygiene, as well as medical and preventive rules, to leave home only when there is a serious need, to have minimal contact with others in public places, and to comply with existing preventive measures. Due to the current sanitary-epidemiological situation, it is necessary to use protective equipment and maintain social distance,” the headquarters said.