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Situation update 

Keep watching this page for updates on the current situation in the Kurdistan Region. For information on what the coronavirus is and how to protect yourself against it, see Coronavirus: What you should know.

 

Situation summary 

The global spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a rapidly evolving situation. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) measures for continuous observation are in place, and dedicated facilities have been set up to handle and contain any cases should they arise, please contact the Ministry of Health’s hotline number when you see the symptoms in any person. Only the Ministry of Health or the World Health Organization is qualified to confirm any case of COVID-19.

 

Cases in the Kurdistan Region

The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring for any cases of COVID-19.

(Updated 20:30, 05 AUG 2020)

COVID-19: Kurdistan Region at a Glance*

Total confirmed cases: 15,577

Total recovered: 9,711

Total deaths: 597

Total active cases: 5,269

*Data include confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) since 1 March 2020.

COVID–19: Potential cases tested in the Kurdistan Region*

Potential cases tested

Total potential cases tested

216,172

Test Results

Positive cases

15,577

Negative cases

200,595

Under testing cases

0

Total confirmed cases

15,577

* This table shows the number of potential cases tested and the number of cases confirmed in the Kurdistan Region, via the Ministry of Health surveillance systems.

What the KRG is doing

To keep the Kurdistan Region as safe as possible from the coronavirus, the following measures have been put in place by the KRG and relevant ministries.

KRG bans travel between provinces
  • Travel ban between provinces will remain in place. People who have very essential duties can apply for permit electronically.
  • People wanting to travel between provinces can apply for permit online at (moi.gov.krd). Issuing travel permit will be at the discretion of governors and supervisors of independent counties of Raparin and Garmian.
  • MPs from Kurdistan parliament can travel between provinces in the Kurdistan Region provided they adhere to safety measures.
  • Foreign diplomats and Coalition Forces can travel between provinces.
  • The KRG previously decided to ban non-emergency travel between provinces from 14 March until 23 July between Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok and Halabja governorates, and the independent administrations.
  • Movement of the UN agencies and organisations, International Organisations, the Coalition Forces, and Diplomatic missions are permitted across Kurdistan Region. Department of Foreign Affairs is to be commissioned for facilitations and to issue permits for the movement of international organisations between the governorates and the independent administrations in coordination with the Department of Foreign Relations.
  • The Ministry of Interior's Directorate General of Diwan will issue travel permit to companies working in the communication and oil fields in coordination with the Ministries of Transportation and Natural Resources.
  • Exchanges in security forces within the Kurdistan Region and between provinces will happen once every fifteen days and only on Saturdays and Wednesdays. These forces should produce a support letter from the Ministry of Interior and send their names to the Ministry 48 hours before the movement.
KRG bans travel between the Kurdistan Region and federal Iraqi provinces
  • Travel between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi provinces will be completely halted for one week from 04 August until 11 August.
  • Full facilitation will be made to export agriculture and poultry products to Iraqi provinces in an attempt to support farmers
  • Kurdistan MPs in Baghdad parliament and Iraqi MPs living in the Kurdistan Region are allowed to travel within the Kurdistan Region and to Iraqi provinces providing they comply with health guidelines
  • Citizens, both civilians and members of security forces, who return from the remaining Iraqi provinces and disputed areas outside of the Kurdistan Region, must take a COVID-19 test and quarantine for (48) hours on their expenses until the release of COVID-19 test. Then, they must self-quarantine at home or provide COVID-19 disinfection test, issued (24) hours before entering the Kurdistan Region, then to self-quarantine at home.
  • Exchanges in security forces who live in the Kurdistan Region, but are on duty in Iraqi provinces, will be made as follows:
  • The KRG decided to ban travel between the Kurdistan Region and federal Iraqi provinces from 14 March to 28 March, then extended until 23-July-2020 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Curfew across the Kurdistan Region
  • Governors are given the authority to declare a complete or partial curfew when necessary, and open service places people need and close places that violate health guidelines.
  • The curfew, first imposed at 12:00 midnight on 13 March until 12:00 midnight 15 March, then extended until 12:00 midnight 18 March inside the cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, and extended across the Kurdistan Region until 27 May. Furthermore, imposition of complete lockdown across the Kurdistan Region again announced staring at 06:00 PM 01 June until 12:00 midnight on 06 June.
  • Public places like markets, restaurants, and other commercial venues should not allow entry to people who don't wear a mask. Places that violate this rule will be closed for 10 days and the owner will be fined 1 million dinars.
  • All clinics and laboratories will be closed for 14 days.
  • All resorts, parks, and cafes will be closed.
  • Fitness centers, swimming pools, and nightclubs will remain closed.
  • Funerals, wedding parties and other social events will remain banned.
  • Private institutes and language and other learning centers will remain closed.
  • Fitness centers, swimming pools and wedding venues will remain closed.
  • Funerals are not allowed. Violators have to pay a fine of 3,000,000 dinars.
  • Restaurants will remain open only for delivery purposes and in line with public health guidelines.
  • Transportation means should adhere to guidelines issued by the Ministries of Transportation and Health. Violators will pay 100,000 dinars for each violation.
  • United Nations agencies and organisations, the international coalition and the commercial movement have been excluded from the curfews between provinces.
  • Private sector companies and organizations should oblige employees to wear masks and follow health and safety measures. Company owners will be fined 150,000 dinars for each violation.
  • For gatherings outside government and private buildings that don't wear masks and and don't keep 1,5 meter distance, each participant will be fined 10,000 dinars.
  • Permission for oil companies is done through coordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources. All special permits must be done through relevant authorities such as the Interior Ministry and the Diwan of the Council of Ministers.
  • All traffic movement between cities and towns is banned. The only exception is emergency cases and with the permission of provincial Operation Rooms.
  • If they neglect or fail to enforce the above rules members of security forces will face a prison term of up to 10 days according to Articles 47 and 48 of Security Forces penal code of 2008.
  • Members of any committee who may issue a non-emergency permit will be prosecuted according to the above Articles if they are of the security forces. Members of the civil service will be warned and removed from their posts.
  • People must stay in their homes to allow medical teams to carry out their mission. Upon any suspicion, you are advised to call 122 and suspected cases must stay put until medical teams reach you.
The limitation of movement and trade imports in crossing borders and airports
  • Ibrahim Khalil Border Crossing will be closed to tourists for one week  from 04 August until 11 August. For essential travel, permit should be obtained from the Ministry of Interior. Trade exchanges will however continue according to previous instructions.
  • Border Crossings of (Parwezkhan, Serzery, Sayran Ban, Kele, Tawella, Pshta and Shushme) will remain closed for tourists and open only for trade exchanges.
  • Border Crossings of Bashmakh and Haji Omaran will be open for Kurdistan Region citizens who are stranded in Iran and want to return home.
  • Kurdistan Region citizens who study in Iran, or want to visit Iran for medical purposes or family reunion, can apply for travel permit online.
  • International Airports of Erbil and Slemani will continue extraordinary flight. Kurdistan Region citizens stranded abroad and foreign nationals can also fly back home without prior permission.
  • International Airports of Erbil and Slemani will fully prepare to resume international flights on August 1.
  • A committee will be formed from representatives of Ministries of Interior, Transportation, Health, and Department of Foreign Relations to design necessary mechanisms for the resumption of flights at these two airports. The committee will be headed by the Ministry of Interior.
Government's office working hours
  • Mangers and head of government offices are authorized to determine a timeline for their offices to run and deliver services, and consider shifts in a way that doesn't slow or affect the quality of the services they deliver.
  • A committee will be formed, headed by a representative from the Ministry of Interior and represented by the Ministry of Health and Department of Coordiantion and follow-up at the Council of Ministers, to follow up on compliance with health guidelines at ministries and punish violators; the committee will also be represented by the provincial government, health officials and the police.
  • Government offices should comply with the health instructions and preventive measures and use masks. Any employee, members of the security forces, Peshmerga and Asaish forces who do not conform to the rules will be fined as per the laws and regulations. 
  • The KRG Department of Information Technology will where possible coordinate with government bodies to process peoples’ work electronically.
  • Public holiday, first announced across all the Kurdistan Regional Government entities, except health and law enforcement departments  from 12 March to 10 May.
  • Reducing the working hours of all the government's offices to 8:00 am to 1:00 pm from 1 March to 10 March.
  • Stopping the fingerprint attendance systems in all the government's offices from 1 March to 10 March.
  • All government entities are free to reduce the attendance of their staff of the offices upon requirement from 1 March to 10 March.
  • All citizens are advised not to visit government offices unless of urgent cases from 1 March to 10 March.
  • Suspends the work of (Traffic Police and Passport departments) for citizens until 14 March.
Religious ceremonies, rituals, and activities
  • Friday prayers and Eid al Adha prayers will not be held at misques. Other prayers are allowed to be held in accordance with instructions issued by the Ministries of Religious Affairs and Health and in coordination with provincial operation rooms.
Traveling to/from the Kurdistan Region
  • People who return to the Kurdistan Region and sign a contract to quarantine themselves at home or at their hotel rooms, will be fined 1 million dinars if they violate the contract. If they test positive for the coronavirus and are found to have also infected other people, they must fund all their medical costs and will be held accountable to the law according to the Iraqi penal code, article 368-369 of amended law 111 of 1969.
  • Iraqi and foreign nationals can travel between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey provided they comply with all health guidelines, except Iranian passport holders.
  • Kurdistan Region citizens who study in Iran, or want to visit Iran for medical purposes or family reunion, can apply for travel permit online.
  • Investment projects or factories that need Iranian experts for their work, can submit a support letter from the company and a letter from the governor's office to the Ministry of Interior's General Directorate of Diwan to apply for travel permit. They have to adhere to all health guidelines if the permit is granted and should take a coronavirus test at their own expenses and quarantine themselves at their workplaces or hotel rooms for the period determined by the Ministry of Interior.
  • International Airports of Erbil and Slemani will continue extraordinary flight. Kurdistan Region citizens stranded abroad and foreign nationals can also fly back home without prior permission.
  • Iraqi and foreign nationals returning to the Kurdistan Region via official border crossings or international airports of Erbil and Slemani, should take a coronavirus test at their own expenses and should sign a contract agreeing to self-isolation at home or their hotel rooms for the period determined by the Ministry of Health.
  • Those foreign nationals who work as teachers in Kurdistan Region schools, institutes and universities are permitted to return to Kurdistan Region on a precondition that they hold valid Kurdistan Region Residency and they are supported by the relative ministry.
  • Iraqi passport holders abroad that returned through the flights organised by the Department of Foreign Relations in both Erbil and Slaymaniyah Airports or travels through the border crossing points of (Ibrahim Khalil, Haji Omaran and Bashmakh), will be quarantined on their expenses in accordance to the procedures set out in this statement, except for the following:
    • Students studying abroad.
    • Patients that have supporting documents or a reference letter from the hospital that they were abroad for treatment purposes within the past two months.
  • Foreign nationals returning to Kurdistan Region via the airports or through Ibrahim Khalil border crossing point will be quarantined on their own expenses.
  • Iraqi and foreign citizens that have traveled to the following countries in the past 30 days will undergo tests and quarantined for a duration determined by the Health Ministry.

Albania

Austria

Belgium

Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Bulgaria

Czech Republic 

Croatia

Cyprus

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungry

Ireland

Lithuania

Luxemburg

Malta

Montenegro

Netherlands

Norway

Portugal

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom (including Scotland) 

Poland

  • Foreign diplomats and official delegations are exempt from above regulation given that they provide Medical Clearance against the Coronavirus.
  • KRG advises all people from the Kurdistan Region who reside in Europe to not return to the Kurdistan Region for the Newroz holidays as all celebrations and events have been suspended.
Anyone has come in contact with an infected person must be quarantined
  • Anyone who has come in contact with an infected person must be quarantined for the duration of the time specified by the Ministry of Health.
Coordinating the Kurdistan Region’s cultivation season
  • Provincial and district agricultural officials will become members of the Operation Rooms with the sole purpose of coordinating the Region’s cultivation season.
Imposition of traffic ban between all towns and districts in both Erbil and Sulaymaniyah
  • Imposition of traffic ban between all towns and districts in both Erbil and Sulaymaniyah provinces for 72 hours, effective at (12:00) Sunday midnight, 15 March 2020.
Setting deadline for all Kurdistan Region residents to return from Iran
  • The final deadline for people’s return to the Kurdistan Region is 12:00 midnight of Monday, 16 March 2020, beyond which all crossing points will be closed to travelers except for trade at the following designated border crossings: Parwezkhan, Haji Omran, Ibrahim Khalil, and Bashmakh.
Anyone returned illegally to the Kurdistan Region from Iran must immediately report to the medical teams
  • People who have returned illegally to the Kurdistan Region from Iran must immediately report to our medical teams. Failing to do so will lead to mandatory quarantine and prosecution under the law for the intentional spread of the virus and illegal border crossing.
The joint health and security task force is on full alert
  • The response Operation Rooms in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, as well as all medical teams and security personnel, must start enforcing the Kurdistan Regional Government's new regulations on coronavirus.
KRG suspends transportation by public transport lines between provinces
  • The KRG decided to suspend transportation by public transport lines (bus and minibus) between provinces from the 13 March to the 1 April.
Tourist resorts are to be closed
  • The KRG ordered the general board of tourism to close all tourist resorts in order to prevent any gathering by the Kurdistan Region citizens in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.
All sports events are canceled
  • The KRG decided to cancel all sports events until 1 April, except the Iraq FA Cup which will take place without spectators.
Flights ban from the Kurdistan Region’s airports
  • The KRG decided to ban flights from the Kurdistan Region’s airports to Baghdad and Basra from the 14 March to the 28 March, exempting diplomats, official delegations, and UN and coalition delegations.
  • Syria’s Ajnaha al-Sham airline flights is suspended to and from the Kurdistan Region’s airports.
Keeping citizens informed
  • The KRG will ensure that citizens are given accurate and up-to-date information on a daily basis – via the relevant government bodies and with assistance from the media.
Medical screening at all points of entry
  • All international travelers entering the Kurdistan Region by land or air are screened by medical teams.
  • Anyone who does not pass this medical check will not be allowed to enter the Kurdistan Region and will be quarantined for public safety.
  • Preventing entrance for travelers who have visited China from the 14 January 2020 onwards.
  • Preventing entrance for travelers who have visited Iran from 5 February 2020 onwards.
  • All Iraqi citizens coming back from Iran are checked and quarantined.
  • Preventing Iraqi citizens from visiting Iran for an unidentified period.
  • Flight halted to Iran from Erbil International Airport and Sulaymaniyah International Airport for an unidentified period.
  • Visa issuance has been stopped for the passport holders of the following countries, and KRI citizens are prevented from visiting them:
    • China
    • Iran
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Thailand
    • Singapore
    • Kuwait
    • Bahrain

    Iraqi citizens who have visited the abovementioned countries after 1 January 2020 will be checked and quarantined, and all foreign travelers who have visited those countries after 1 January 2020 will not be allowed to enter the Kurdistan Region.

    Iraqi citizens coming from the cities in the south of Iraq will be checked in the checkpoints.

    Foreigners who have the Kurdistan Region residency will be allowed to enter the Kurdistan region if they have not visited the abovementioned countries after 1 January 2020.

Dedicated facilities
  • Several dedicated medical facilities have been set up in each province of the Kurdistan Region, to be able to identify and contain any cases of COVID-19, and to provide the necessary care.
Closing schools and universities
  • The KRG has declared the period from 26 February to 10 March a public holiday for all public schools, private schools, and kindergartens.
  • Public and private universities will be closed from 29 February to 10 March.
  • All schools and universities will remain closed during the spring break (10–23 March) before reopening on 24 March.
  • The Ministries of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research will prepare a schedule to enable students to catch up with their studies.
Providing funds to local governorates
  • The Ministry of Finance and Economy is providing financial support as required to governorates and local administrations, working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior. 
Maintaining supplies of basic goods
  • The KRG will ensure that shops in the Kurdistan Region will continue to stock basic goods.
  • The government will also prevent price manipulation of essential goods and commodities, and take action against anyone who attempts to benefit illegally from the situation.
Taking precautions in refugee and IDP camps
  • Taking precautions in refugee and IDP camps through local authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while coordinating their activities with the relevant international organizations.
Decrease tax and rent rates on business centers and shops
  • The government will decrease tax and rent rates on business centers and shops that have been affected by measures taken to combat the coronavirus.