Tunisia announces new measures to curb spread of COVID-19

Healthcare workers conduct free PCR checks for Covid-19 on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia, on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Tunisia will receive a first batch of 2 million Pfizer vaccine doses in 2Q 2021, TAP agency reported, citing Hechmi Louzir, director general of Pasteur Institute. Photographer: Amira Karaoud/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Healthcare workers conduct free PCR checks for Covid-19 on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia, on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Tunisia will receive a first batch of 2 million Pfizer vaccine doses in 2Q 2021, TAP agency reported, citing Hechmi Louzir, director general of Pasteur Institute. Photographer: Amira Karaoud/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in Tunisia, Tunisian authorities on Saturday announced new measures to curb its spread.

“These measures will be applicable from April 18 to April 30,” Hasna Ben Slimane, spokesperson of the Tunisian government, said during a press conference held at the government’s headquarters.

The decision put a ban on all vehicles from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, on top of the existing curfew which forbids people leaving their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“All businesses that do not respect the health protocol or the curfew hours will be closed immediately,” Slimane warned.

Moreover, the country also decided to close all schools except the kindergartens and put a compulsory quarantine for all inbound travelers.

Describing the pandemic situation in Tunisia as “very critical,” Nissaf Ben Alaya, director-general of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases, said a new variant of the virus “is becoming the dominant strain circulating in the country.”