| 22 May 2024, Wednesday |

COVID follow-up committee issues recommendations

The committee for follow-up on COVID-19 preventive measures in Lebanon, which convened Wednesday under the chairmanship of the Higher Defense Council Secretary-General Mahmoud al-Asmar, has issued the following recommendations:

1- The “general mobilization”, which aims to curb the spread of the coronavirus and which ends on 31/03/2021 (included) pursuant to decree no. 7315 dated 31/12/2020, shall be extended to a period of six months.

2- The Ministry of Public Health shall issue circulars for all laboratories whereby they must register the results of tests they did (negative/positive) with IMPACT platform in order to properly evaluate pandemic-related data and to take the correct decisions.

3- The committee calls on religious authorities to take part in efforts aimed at reducing the risks of the pandemic, and warns against the risk of socializing and breaking COVID-19 preventing measures during the coming religious holidays (Easter and Fitr). The committee also highlights the need to mull a potential limitation of movement and overcrowding up to imposing total lockdown and curfew for three days during these events so as to prevent family gatherings inside houses and what would ensue in terms of hazards and a new COVID-19 wave that could be avoided.

4- Closed cinemas, theaters and halls where events are held shall remain closed until further notice, and all ceremonies or assemblies (weddings, private parties, etc.) shall remain banned.

5- Markets shall remain closed (except for those intended for selling foodstuffs) and strict measures shall be issued against the violating ones.

6- The curfew timing shall be from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. provided that the work timing shall be amended in all commercial sectors, retail shops, restaurants and cafes as specified in previous circulars (until 9:00 p.m.) while abiding by all precautionary measures and conditions which were previously circulated.

7- PCR or Antigen tests shall be performed, each 14 days, on all employees, workers and part-time staff who directly interact with customers.

8- A partial lockdown plan for regions (Heat Map) which was previously adopted shall be reactivated in order to control the virus hotspots therein.