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Armenia Lifts Coronavirus State Of Emergency, But Some Restrictions Remain

Teachers lining up to undergo coronavirus tests in Yerevan on September 11.

YEREVAN -- Armenia's government on September 11 lifted a state of emergency declared six months ago, but kept in place some restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus.

The state of emergency is replaced by a nationwide quarantine regime set to remain in force until January 11.

Wearing face masks in all public spaces -- both indoors and outdoors -- and enforcing social distancing and hygiene rules for businesses continue to be required across Armenia, which plans to restart classes in schools and universities next week.

Tatevik Revazian, the head of the government’s Civil Aviation Committee, told RFE/RL that the end of emergency rules means international flights are allowed to resume.

And visitors won’t be required to quarantine if they test negative upon arrival.

The new regime stems from a government bill that was passed by lawmakers last week and signed into law by President Armen Sarkissian on September 10.

It empowers authorities to impose nationwide or local lockdowns, seal off communities hit by coronavirus outbreaks, and close the country’s borders. Public gatherings can also be banned or restricted.

The move comes amid a steady decline in coronavirus cases recorded in the South Caucasus nation of around 3 million people.

Armenia has so far registered more than 45,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with over 900 deaths.