Coronavirus outbreak prompts Armenia to go on full lock-down
Armenia has announced even stricter regulations during the state of emergency, which was declared on March 16 to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
Leaving the home is now prohibited unless absolutely necessary. All residents will be required to carry their passport or ID card with them when outside.
In addition, all economic activity is limited until the end of March, and the administration released a list of prohibited activities.
Grocery stores, pharmacies and banks will continue operating throughout the country. Cell phone service and telecommunications companies will continue working as well. They are providing people the opportunity to work remotely and students the opportunity to study online.
Restrictions on movement
On March 24, 14 new coronavirus cases were reported in Armenia, bringing the total number to 249.
The Prime Minister announced this in his address on the evening of March 24. During the live broadcast, Nikol Pashinyan also announced that the government would be introducing another unprecedented restriction: people will not be able to leave the house without identifying documents, and will have to explain their reason for leaving the house.
The commandant’s office will strictly monitor all movement in the streets, and residents will need to fill out special questionnaires. Residents will need to take these documents along with them every time they go outside. If they do not have printers at hand, then they are permitted to write the entire questionnaire by hand. In particular, they will need to report their home address, the reason why they are leaving, and the name and address of the place they are going.
In any case, people are encouraged not to leave home, and to instead use delivery services for food and medicine. If residents must leave the house, it is recommended that they go unaccompanied, unless they are elderly and need assistance.
The commandment already announced that all grocery stores will only serve the elderly between the hours of 10 and 12pm. All residents receive text messages warning them not to plan their purchases during this time. This is done to protect the elderly population, who are more heavily affected by the virus.
In his address, the Prime Minister asked people not to gather in groups of more than two people, and to maintain a distance while communicating with others.
In order to prevent further spread of the virus, the government also decided to limit work in certain areas. So far, it has been announced that operations will be halted until the end of March.
Activities in the following types of institutions are prohibited:
– bars and similar establishments;
– theaters, including open-air theaters;
– casinos, arcades, sports events, entertainment and recreation;
– retail centers, excluding those which sell groceries or produce and pharmacies.
What things remain in operation
The restrictions do not apply to food delivery services, buffets or cafeterias. Banks, ATMs and self-service machines will also remain in operation.
Telecommunications companies are permitted to continue their work. Their work is especially important in a state of emergency, since most organizations have switched to working online, and universities and schools have started using distance learning.
Food, hygienic products and cosmetics will still be produced, and hotels, the mining industry and arms manufacturing businesses will remain in operation.
Electricity, gas, water supply services will work with a limited staff to fix problems with utilities when necessary. The work of funeral service providers is also permitted.