June 29, 2020 / 5:23 AM / 11 days ago

Qatar to further ease coronavirus curbs as infections pass peak

DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar aims to further ease coronavirus curbs from July 1, allowing the limited reopening of restaurants, beaches and parks, as infections have passed their peak and the rate was subsiding, authorities said.

The nation of about 2.8 million people has the second highest tally of infections among the six Gulf Arab states, after its much larger neighbour, Saudi Arabia. It announced 750 new cases on Sunday, taking the total to 94,413, with 110 deaths.

In a statement late on Sunday, the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management said restaurants will reopen at limited capacity from July 1, as would public beaches and parks.

Public and private gatherings of a maximum of five people will be allowed, while employees in the public and private sector can work from the office at 50% capacity, it added.

As in other Gulf states, Qatar saw COVID-19 spread among low-income migrant workers living in crowded quarters, but the government did not impose curfew. This month, it allowed “essential flights” out of Doha, a partial reopening of malls and of some mosques.

Qatar has also announced that from Aug. 1, it will permit flights from low-risk countries to resume, malls to operate at full capacity and other markets at limited capacity.

(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser)

Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Raissa Kasolowsky

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