Iraq Tightens COVID Restrictions

The Higher Committee for Health and National Safety held a meeting on Saturday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The Committee reviewed the latest Covid-19 related developments and agreed several measures to address the recent rise in the number of cases in Iraq.

The measures include:

  • Imposing a total curfew on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each week from 18/2/2021, and a partial curfew between 8 PM and 5 AM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 8/3/2021.

The curfew excludes employees of the Ministry of Health, the security forces and government departments providing essential services. It also excludes grocery, fruit and vegetable stores, bakeries and pharmacies which will be allowed to open from 5 AM to 7 PM when the total curfew is in force, media personnel who have a prior authorizsation from the Minister of Health, and individuals who need to travel between Iraqi provinces for urgent humanitarian reasons.

The Committee also decided to:

  • Urge citizens to wear a face mask in public places, including when travelling by taxis and buses, maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres at all times and impose a fine of 25,000 Iraqi dinars for violating any of these rules
  • Close down any private medical clinic that fails to treat Coronavirus patients according to approved protocols
  • Order the closure of all beauty centres from 18/2/2021 for a period of two weeks
  • Order the closure of entertainment centres, parks, cinemas, sport halls, gyms and swimming pools from 18/2/2021 for a period of two weeks
  • Ban the conduct of public funeral services and mourning rites, and impose a fine of 5 million Iraqi dinars for any violation of these rules
  • Order the closure of all mosques and other places of worship until further notice
  • Ban wedding ceremonies at event halls from 18/2/2021 until further notice, and impose a fine of 5 million Iraqi dinars for any violation
  • Order the closure of malls and cafes from 18/2/2021  for a period of two weeks
  • Order the closure of  restaurants, and permit delivery services only, from 18/2/2021 for a period of two weeks, provided that restaurants and their workers adhere to preventative health measures.  Violators will be fined 5 million Iraqi dinars
  • Order all public and private educational institutions and schools to use online and distant learning modules from 18/2/2021 until 4/3/2021, with the exception of final stage students at medical colleges
  • Impose a ban on group travel for tourism purposes to all countries until further notice
  • Direct the Ministry of Health to conduct PCR covid-19 tests at Iraq's airports and other border-crossings for all arriving passengers who will be responsible for paying for the cost of the test
  • Permit the entry of goods via Iraq's  land, sea, and air border crossings
  • Reduce the working hours at government departments and institutions by 50% except for the Ministry of Health
  • Direct the Ministry of Interior, the National Security Agency, Joint Operations Command and Baghdad Operations Command to provide the necessary support to health teams as they monitor the implementation of these measures

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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