YEREVAN (Eurasianet.org and RFE/RL) — Armenia has taken a big step toward ending its lockdown even as cases of COVID-19 in the country continue to sharply increase.
Starting on May 4, Armenians can again eat out (in outdoor seating), go shopping anywhere except a mall or other large markets, and travel without restrictions (though public transportation remains suspended). Factories of all sorts are allowed to reopen, as are hairdressers and beauty salons.
The government is also in no rush to resume public transport services in Yerevan and other cities.
All reopened businesses have to comply with safety requirements set by the Ministry of Health. In particular, employers must ensure physical distancing among their workers and customers, frequently disinfect premises, provide employees with hand sanitizers and measure their temperature on a daily basis. Those who have a fever must immediately leave their workplace and seek medical aid.
Wearing face masks and gloves is obligatory for only some categories of employees, notably waiters.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan defended on Sunday, May 3, his government’s decision to lift remaining restrictions on people’s movements and reopen virtually all sectors of the Armenian economy despite the continuing spread of coronavirus in the country. He declared that the onus is now not only on his government but also on ordinary Armenians to contain the virus.