Lebanon eases lockdown, reopens restaurants with precautions

A female bartender wearing a protective face mask mixes an alcoholic drink at a bar, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beirut, Lebanon

Lebanon has eased its nearly two-month lockdown with restaurants opening to the public for the first time in two months amid strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Restaurants will be allowed to have a 50% capacity indoor with a 2-meter distance between each table while outdoors they will be allowed to have a 75% capacity.

Many hope that opening restaurants will help Lebanon as it passes through its worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history. The food and beverage sector employs tens of thousands of people.

Restaurant employees will have to conduct regular PCR tests to make sure they are not infected while working.

Restaurants will have to close by 7 p.m. as a nationwide curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. remains in place.

The lockdown went into affect in early January following a sharp increase of coronavirus cases after the country opened up for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

On Sunday, Lebanon registered 2,253 new cases raising the total in the country to 436,575. The small nation also reported 51 new deaths raising the total of fatalities to 5,715.

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