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Statement by KRG Interior Ministry on new COVID-19 measures

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) –The Kurdistan Region’s High Committee for Combating COVID-19 convened and issued a number of directives as part of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus in the region. The directives include the following:

- Schools, universities, and other educational institutions will be closed until the 25th of March, with the exception of 12th grade high school students.

- All public spaces, such as markets, restaurants, and stores should not allow access to individuals without masks.

- Residents of the Kurdistan Region should respect official health guidelines when in groups, making use of masks and allowing for a distance of 1.5 meters between them.

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

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

- Drivers of commercial cars must adhere to the mask-wearing directive when there are passengers onboard, under penalty of a 50,000 Iraqi Dinar fine per case for the driver.

- Restaurants and cafes are recommended to offer their services outdoors, and are not allowed to offer sheesha services inside. In case there is no outdoor space available, the number of guests inside must have a limit, windows and doors must be kept opened at all times, and tables should be place at a socially-safe distance from each other. Those who do not adhere to the directives will be fined 2,000,000 Iraqi Dinars and have their business shut down for one week.

- Individuals who travel to the Kurdistan Region from Iraqi provinces must produce a negative COVID-19 test 3 days (72 hours) before they travel to the Kurdistan Region.

- A healthcare unit will managed test samples received at checkpoints.

- The number of attendees at wedding halls, conferences, and meetings must be limited to prevent crowds.

- Cinema halls will be closed in all malls and markets across all cities in the region.

- Relevant authorities will continue to raise awareness about health measures in government institutions, schools, universities, and public spaces.

- This decree is to be enacted from the day it is released and shall be published in the Kurdistan Magazine.