ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria said on Saturday it will further ease its coronavirus lockdown, including shortening an overnight curfew and lifting some travel curbs.
In addition, large mosques will be allowed to reopen, along with beaches, entertainment venues, hotels, restaurants and cafes.
The North African country has recorded 34,155 coronavirus infections, with 1,282 deaths.
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 Friday prayers, which attract larger numbers of people, will remain banned throughout the country.
The use of air conditioners in mosques also remain banned, as does a prohibition of access for women, vulnerable people and children under 15 years.
The government will also allow the reopening of beaches and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants, cafes and hotels from next Saturday.
It said social distancing and protection masks would be compulsory, and warned any violation of preventive measures against the novel coronavirus would prompt it to reimpose more restrictions.
Algeria resumed some economic activity in June, mainly in the construction and public works sectors, and allowed the reopening of some businesses.
It lifted a curfew and travel restrictions for its remaining 19 provinces in July.
(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Nick Macfie and Mike Harrison)