Iraqi authorities on Thursday eased a nation-wide curfew introduced to curb the novel coronavirus announcing a schedule for further easing of international travel.

“The Higher Committee decides to reduce the curfew from 9.30 p.m. [1830GMT] until 6.00 a.m. [0300GMT] and to reopen malls with adherence to the protective restrictions from the coronavirus,” said the National Safety Committee (NSC) in a statement, underscoring the importance of wearing of masks in public places, and keeping social distances.

The previous curfew had been from 5.00 a.m. (0200 GMT) until 6.00 p.m. (15:00 GMT).

“The Higher Committee decided to lift the ban completely after Eid Al-Adha [early August], while adhering to the preventive restrictions, and to reopen the airports, as well as the borders of Al-Munthiriya and al-Shaib [border gates], with Iran and Safwan with Kuwait for trade exchange starting from July 23,” the NSC added.

Last March, Iraq suspended flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Thursday evening, the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country reached 86,148, including 3,522 deaths and 54,316 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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