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Tourism Ministry Allows Takeaway, Delivery Services during Lockdown

Jul 30

Tourism Ministry Allows Takeaway, Delivery Services during Lockdown

The Tourism Ministry on Wednesday revised a memo ordering the full closure of restaurants, cafes and sweets shops during the general lockdown that the country will observe from July 30 to August 3 and from August 6 to August 10.

In a memo issued Wednesday, the Ministry said restaurants and sweets shops will now be allowed to open for takeaway and delivery services between 6am and 8pm during the general lockdown days.

However, they will not be allowed to offer dine-in services to customers.

The Ministry also noted that shisha delivery services remain prohibited in all Lebanese regions and during all times, while urging restaurants and sweets shops to abide by the anti-coronavirus precautionary instructions.

The government agreed Tuesday to reinforce coronavirus lockdown measures after a spike in new cases threatened to overwhelm the crisis-hit country's healthcare system. Lebanon, a country of some six million people, has recorded a total of 3,879 cases of COVID-19, including 51 deaths.

It had gradually lifted lockdown measures and in early July opened Beirut airport to commercial flights after a closure of more than three months. But new cases have increased since restaurants, bars, clubs and resorts reopened.

On Saturday, Lebanon recorded 175 new cases, its highest daily number of infections. To stem a larger outbreak, the government ordered a nationwide lockdown from July 30 until August 3, coinciding with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Information Minister Manal Abdul Samad said after a cabinet meeting.

The lockdown will be suspended from August 3 until August 6, with restaurants and cafes allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity while nightclubs, bars, indoor pools and public parks remain closed. It will then go back into force for another five days, after which authorities will reassess whether stricter measures need to be taken.