June 14, 2020 / 2:26 AM / 19 days ago

Algeria to further relax coronavirus lockdown

A boy plays in the water at a beach, during a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Algiers, Algeria April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria will further relax its coronavirus lockdown on Sunday, easing a curfew, allowing public transport to resume in the cities and reopening some more businesses, the government said on Saturday.

The government will end the curfew in 19 provinces and shorten it in the remaining 29, including in the capital Algiers, where it will run from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. instead of 7 p.m.-7 a.m. currently, the prime minister’s office said.

It said buses and taxis in urban areas will also resume services with a limited number of passengers. Taxi drivers are ordered to take one client only.

Some businesses such as clothing and shoe shops, car rentals and hair salons will reopen. The government last week allowed the reopening of business such as men’s barbershops and cattle markets.

The authorities also decided to end a paid leave given in March to 50% of state employees, although pregnant women and those with children will continue to benefit from the leave.

Algeria has so far reported 10,810 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 760 deaths.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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