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Algeria eases coronavirus restrictions, including travel curbs and curfew

Reuters logo Reuters 8/08/2020
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: People walk in Algiers © Reuters/RAMZI BOUDINA People walk in Algiers

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria said on Saturday it will further ease its coronavirus lockdown, including shortening an overnight curfew, lifting some travel curbs and allowing large mosques to reopen.

The North African country has recorded 34,155 coronavirus infections, with 1,282 deaths.

In June, it resumed some economic activity, mainly in the construction and public works sectors, and allowed the reopening of some businesses.

The new measures include lifting a travel ban on 29 provinces from Aug. 9 until the end of the month. During that period, a curfew will be shortened and will run from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. from the current 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the government said.

Mosques with a capacity of more than 1,000 worshipers can reopen from August 15, though weekly prayers on Fridays, which are usually attended by larger numbers of people, will remain banned throughout the country.

The use of air conditioners in mosques remains banned, as does a prohibition of access for women, vulnerable people and children under 15 years, the government said.

Algeria ended a curfew and travel restrictions for its remaining 19 provinces in July.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Nick Macfie and Mike Harrison)

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