Uzbekistan’s president has issued a decree that allows unmarried couples to share rooms in hotels across the former Soviet republic.
According to Shavkat Mirziyoev’s decree, published by the National Information Agency of Uzbekistan, the move is being made to secure unmarried couples' "right to a private life."
"Hotel services must be provided regardless of individuals' permanent addresses, citizenship, or status of their relations, including matrimonial relations," the decree says.
The decree also orders the extension of the number of countries whose citizens can visit Uzbekistan without visas.
Currently, Uzbekistan offers visa-free entry to citizens of France, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and the most of the former Soviet republics.
It has also announced that by February it will allow 30-day tourist visas for citizens of Germany, Britain, Ireland, and several other European Union member states.
Mirziyoev has announced plans to implement reforms to open Uzbekistan to the outer world after he came to power following the death of longtime President Islam Karimov in 2016.
Predominantly Muslim Uzbekistan is Central Asia's most populous country, with a population of 32 million.