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Azerbaijan declares ‘special quarantine regime’

23 March 2020
A bus in Baku with the route name is 'stay home'. Photo: BMG.

The Azerbaijani Government has announced a special quarantine regime throughout the country including a raft of measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

The new rules will come into force on Tuesday and last until 20 April.

Yesterday, Azerbaijan reported that seven more people had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 72 confirmed cases. Ten people have recovered and there has been one fatality.

[Follow our live updates on the coronavirus in the Caucasus.]

According to the new rules, people over 65 will be prohibited from leaving their homes; elderly people living alone will be provided with social services.

Gatherings in groups of more than 10 people in public places, including the streets, parks, and anywhere else will be forbidden.

The authorities advised people to keep a 2-metre distance between each other.

Traffic to and from the capital Baku, the neighbouring city of Sumgait, and Absheron District will be limited to ambulances, emergency and rescue vehicles, and cargo lorries. 

Baku, Sumgait and Absheron.

A ban on anyone not registered as living in the area from entering came into force on 19 March, with police turning back hundreds of cars.

From Tuesday, inter-district and inter-city public transport will cease across the country. 

People with special medical needs, especially women with children and elderly people, will be allowed to travel to Azerbaijan by charter flight, going through a mandatory 14–21-day quarantine. 

The government advised people to minimise their use of the subway system and to use surface transport instead. They announced that busses would begin run along routes between metro stations from 06:00–22:00. 

The opening hours of restaurants and cafes will be limited to between 12:00–15:00, with unlimited access to home delivery and online shopping. 

Shopping centres will be closed, excluding supermarkets, grocery stores, and pharmacies working within them.

Supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other vital facilities will operate as usual.

The measure falls short of those put in place in neighbouring Georgia, which has closed down all places of business except for grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and post offices.

The government said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs would be monitoring the implementation of the new rules.