On Sunday, the Syrian regime government, issued a decision banning citizens completely from moving between Syrian governorates as part of “precautionary measures” to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
According to the cabinet Facebook post, the decision will be applied from 6pm on Tuesday until Apr. 16, 2020, with the Interior Ministry to provide executive instructions for its implementation.
The regime’s SANA news agency said that the decision exempts, “all actors excluded from the curfew measures to ensure the continuation of work in service and health institutions and the productive sector, as well as humanitarian cases, and securing basic goods for citizens, as well as vehicles transporting food supplies, vegetables, and oil products,” meaning that they are the categories exempted from the previous curfew decision, which stipulated the isolation of governorate centers from cities and towns of the countryside.
The previous curfew allowed a number of categories of people, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, to move freely, as well as emergency workers and civil defense, as well as “national media agencies” on the condition that they show their union card. Members of the army, security forces, political parties, and diplomatic missions and international organizations, as well as those on tasks from governorates or ministries, as well as Red Cross members and volunteer teams, on the condition that there is an official mission, were permitted to move.
The decision also exempted cars carrying foodstuffs, vegetables and fruits, without needing any permit, according to the Interior Minister Mohamed Rahmoun, who said that employees in government departments needed to obtain permission from the, “entity responsible for them if their work required them to go to the countryside or the governorates, with the citizen getting permission from the concerned governor or minister.”
The prime minister issued a decision earlier, stipulating a partial curfew, starting from Mar. 25, 2020, until further notice. The Ministry of Interior was tasked with taking measures to implement the ban, for the specified period, with the governor and police chief in each governorate concerned with implementation on the ground and imposing penalties against violators. The Ministry of Internal Trade and Ministry of Local Administration were tasked with securing bread in all regions and neighborhoods through mobile cars accredited and under the direct supervision of the administrative unit, in order to prevent gatherings.
On the first day of the partial curfew’s implementation, members of the police of the Ministry of the Interior arrested 153 people in various Syrian governorates for violating the curfew, which was applied between the hours of 6pm until 6am. They are expected to face a prison sentence ranging from between six months to three years, with fine ranging between 50,000 and 500,000 Syrian pounds.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.