All shops, businesses to reopen in Sulaimani and Erbil after KRG backtracks on curfew

Curfew will end at 6 p.m. on Wednesday
Sulaimani Governor Haval Abubakr (File)

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SULAIMANI — Governors in the Kurdistan Region backtracked on Tuesday (June 2) by saying they would lift a coronavirus curfew that they had only begun implementing on Monday.

Sulaimani Governor Haval Abubakir said that all shops and businesses in Sulaimani will be allowed to reopen on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and that the curfew will end at that time as well.

Abubakir told NRT that all businesses that reopen will have to follow strict health and safety regulations.

Similarly, Erbil Governor Firsat Sofi said during a press conference that shops and businesses in Erbil governorate will also reopen at the same time.

“We, as the Kurdistan Regional Government, apologize to our people that were damaged by our decisions, which were meant to protect them, and we will continue supporting them with all we have,” Sofi said.

Sofi added that the departments of health and tourism will both release revised regulations concerning the operation of hospitals and clinics and tourist sites. His office has formed committees in all the towns and cities to enforce public health regulations once businesses reopen.

The curfew had been put into place in response to a surge in the number of coronavirus infections in the Kurdistan Region over the last three weeks, including a number of new deaths.

However, the decision met with strong resistance from shop owners and workers who said that they were already having trouble making ends meet and that the new restrictions would only harm them further.

Protests broke out in a number of cities, with the largest in downtown Sulaimani.

(NRT Digital Media)