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KRG Interior Ministry issued new directives to curb COVID-19 pandemic in Kurdistan Region

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD)- The Kurdistan Region’s High Committee for Combating COVID-19 has issued the following directives as part of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus in the region:

1- Schools and Colleges:

• Classes will continue online for grades 1 to 11 for both public and private schools.

• Grade 12 students will continue to attend schools following strict health guidelines.

2- Post-Secondary Education and Scientific Research:

• Universities currently administering exams will continue and carefully follow health guidelines.

• Classes will continue online.

• Technical classes will continue on campus and follow health guidelines.

3- Mosques, churches, and all places of worship will reopen and allow the performance of the obligatory prayers following the strict guidelines set by the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs.

4- Social gatherings, celebrations, and all other public events remain suspended.

5- Funerals and burials will continue to be prohibited and relevant authorities are responsible for enforcing guidelines. Anyone caught violating official health guidelines will be given a 2,000,000 (two million) Iraqi Dinar fine.

6- Movie theaters will remain closed across all cities and towns of the Kurdistan Region.

7- Restaurants and cafes should offer their services outdoors. In case there is no outdoor space available, the number of guests inside must be limited, windows and doors must be kept open at all times, and tables should be placed at a socially safe distance from each other (no less than 2 meters).

8- Restaurants and cafes are not allowed to offer shisha services. Those who fail to adhere to the directives will be fined 5,000,000 (five million) Iraqi Dinars and have their business shut down for one week.

9- All public spaces, such as markets, restaurants, and stores should not allow access to individuals without masks. Those who fail to adhere to the directives will be fined 1,000,000 (one million) Iraqi Dinars and have their business shut down for 10 days.

10- Anyone who does not wear a mask when required will be fined 20,000 (twenty-thousand) Iraqi Dinars in accordance with the rules of this decree.

11- Drivers of commercial cars must adhere to the mask-wearing directive when there are passengers onboard, under penalty of a 20,000 (twenty-thousand) Iraqi Dinar fine per case for the driver.

12- Travel between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi provinces will continue to be prohibited. A travel exception will be given to the following people traveling between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi provinces if they present valid PCR test results at relevant checkpoints:

• Employees from United Nations bodies and agencies, international organizations, the coalition forces, diplomats, and formal delegations;

• Kurdistan Region residents;

• Patients who are in urgent need of medical care in the Kurdistan Region;

• Businessmen and investors.

13- Trade between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi provinces will continue with strict health measures enforced at checkpoints.

14- Private sector institutions must abide by mask-wearing regulations and implement their own preventative measures, under a penalty of a 150,000 (one hundred and fifty thousand) Iraqi Dinar fine per case.

15- Government offices will continue to implement their own preventative health measures and relevant ministers will continue to monitor the situation. The implementation of these procedures will be done according to statement 52 of 2020, article 7. The same authority will be given to governors and heads of independent administrations.

16- Provinces, independent administrations, and all other high-ranking officials are expected to enforce regulations and take responsibility regarding the implementation of these directives.

17- These directives are effective Monday 8:00 PM, 12 April, 2021.