Lebanon to reopen restaurants, gyms despite coronavirus cases remaining high

Lebanon to reopen restaurants, gyms despite coronavirus cases remaining high
2 min read
20 March, 2021
The government hopes the reopening of most private businesses will help improve the deteriorating economic situation.
The country will move into the final stage of lockdown on Monday [Getty]
Lebanon announced on Friday that restaurants and gyms can reopen on Monday as part of a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, despite coronavirus cases still being high.

In a statement outlining the latest guidelines, it was announced that restaurants, gyms, indoor pools, tourism establishments and Lebanon's national casino are among the institutions would be permitted to open in the final stage of the country's lockdown, The Daily Star reported.

These businesses must adhere to strict virus preventative measures, including enforcing mask wearing and social distancing.

The statement also announced that a curfew will be in place, with limited mobility throughout the country from 8pm until 5am every day from Monday, excluding some essential services which will run 24 hours a day.

Those over the age of 60 will be permitted to return to work.

Commercial banks will also be able to function with 100% employee capacity.

Bars and nightclubs will remain closed however, and the government’s guidelines entail that large gatherings such as weddings or funerals will still not be permitted.

The Lebanese pound over the last week reached its all-time low against the dollar on the black market, amid a dire economic crisis.

Pharmacies across the country went on strike on Thursday, to protest the financial situation which left them unable to procure essential medicines. Fuel stations also began rationing diesel.

Many shops also closed their doors because of the deteriorating financial situation, and officials hope that the reopening of most businesses within the private sector could help reinvigorate the economy.

Protests continued throughout the lockdown as people expressed frustrations over increasing poverty, with many blaming the Lebanese political elite's neglect for the economic crisis. Some protestors tried to storm the economy ministry last Wednesday.

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