May 30, 2020 / 6:19 AM / 2 months ago

Uzbekistan extends duration of coronavirus curbs, but eases some

FILE PHOTO: Uzbek law enforcement officers check drivers' documents at a checkpoint as they enforce government restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov/File Photo

TASHKENT (Reuters) - Uzbekistan has extended measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus until June 15, but relaxed some restrictions, allowing the resumption of domestic tourism and soccer games, the authorities said on Saturday.

The former Soviet republic had locked down all its provinces and closed all non-essential businesses in March.

The Tashkent government eased some restrictions this month, dividing the country into “green”, “yellow” and “red” zones on the basis of the rates of newly-detected infections.

The new measures allow many businesses to reopen from June 1, depending on the zones the fall in, for example, in “green” zones, children’s summer camps, recreational and sports centres will start working and people will be allowed to hold weddings and other traditional ceremonies with up to 30 guests.

Central Asia’s most populous nation of 34 million, which resumed domestic air flights and train services this month, said the domestic football league would resume, without spectators, from June 5.

Bus tours between provinces will also resume, with halts barred in “red” zones, the cabinet said.

It announced a plan this week to subsidise the tourism sector, with measures such as paying tour operators and agents $15 for every tourist brought in from abroad, but it remains unclear when the borders will re-open for foreigners.

Uzbekistan has confirmed 3,513 virus infections and 14 deaths.

Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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