NAIROBI, Kenya 

Kenya on Monday eased restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the novel infection chokes the East African country’s fragile economy.

Addressing the nation, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that even though experts argued that the country was not ready for reopening, he decided to go on and partially lift the measures.

“I order and direct that the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa County and Mandera County, that is currently in force, shall lapse at 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7, 2020,” he said.

He announced that places of worship will commence phased re-opening for congregational worship and public (in-person) worship.

Worship shall not include congregants under the age of 13, above the age of 58, and persons with underlying health conditions.

Domestic air travel is also set to resume in Kenya on July 15, with international flights resuming operation on Aug. 1.

The nationwide curfew that is currently in force between the hours of 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. local time daily has been extended by a further 30 days.

Kenya has recently been recording high COVID-19 cases, which were first registered in the country in February.

Experts have warned of increased number in infections and virus-linked deaths if all measures are eased.

Health official Rashid Aman, who announced 309 new cases in the country on Sunday, attributed the rise to Kenyans not taking restrictions put in place seriously.

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