Azerbaijan said Tuesday that it has extended the duration of the country’s special quarantine regime and tightened measures against the coronavirus due to a rise in cases. 

Cafes and restaurants will be closed from Dec. 14-Jan. 18, according to the decision of the Council of Ministers.

All stores except grocery stores and pharmacies will only be allowed to provide online delivery services to customers.

Entrances and exits to 17 cities including Baku will be banned until Jan. 18 and street exits in these provinces will also be subject to permission by mobile SMS message, according to the decision.

The quarantine period in the country was extended until Jan. 31, while permission by SMS to be applied for grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, sightseeing and hospital needs was also set at a maximum of three hours.

The Baku metro will remain closed until Jan. 31.

Public transport will not be running on weekends throughout the country until that date.

During the quarantine, the use of masks in indoor and outdoor areas throughout the country will be mandatory.

More than 149,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Azerbaijan, while 1,675 people have died from the virus, according to data announced Monday by Azerbaijani authorities.

Around 60,000 COVID-19 patients are being treated in the country, where the daily number of cases exceeds 3,000.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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