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Lebanon Starts Phase 2 of Easing COVID-19 Lockdown

Lebanon Starts Phase 2 of Easing COVID-19 Lockdown
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By Staff, Agencies

Lebanon entered Monday the second phase of gradually easing restrictions imposed as part of a lockdown aimed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A governmental task force dealing with the pandemic said in statement that travel agents, car dealerships, mechanic shops, car washes and flower shops will be allowed to open during the day and on-site construction work can resume but engineering company offices are to remain closed.

Crucially, people are still obliged to get permission through an online platform to leave their homes. The new measures also increase capacity for factories and banks up to 50 percent of staff. Banks and other essential services were allowed to partially open two weeks ago.

Lebanon imposed a complete lockdown Jan. 14 after a dramatic rise in the numbers of coronavirus deaths and cases. With the pandemic easing off, the authorities plan to reopen the country in four two-week stages, culminating in lifting most restrictions March 22.

Lebanon began last week a national inoculation campaign, but the slow delivery of the vaccine – around 60,000 doses have so far been received – and logistical difficulties means the target of vaccinating 80 percent of the 6 million population to achieve herd immunity is unlikely to be achieved this year.

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