KRG extends inter-province travel ban

A ban on travel between Kurdistan Region provinces has been extended until July 1, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) interior ministry has announced, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to make a stubborn resurgence.

“A complete travel ban between Sulaimani, Erbil, Duhok, Halabja provinces, as well as the independent administrations of Garmiyan and Raparin, will remain in place and be renewed from 12:00 am on June 15, 2020 until 12:00 am on July 1, 2020,” read an interior ministry statement published late on Monday night.

The KRG also extended its travel ban with other parts of Iraq for the same time period.

Kurdistan Region border crossings and airports are to remain closed to non-commercial traffic, according to the interior ministry, with a date for their re-opening yet to be decided by Iraq’s federal government.

While some measures have been stopped and re-started as the outbreak fluctuates, the inter-province non-commercial curfew has been in continuous place since mid-March.

Restriction was partially eased with the introduction of an online permission system by the interior ministry a month later, allowing some journeys to be made between provinces with government approval. 

Permission to travel to another province will be granted only for the most urgent of cases, the KRG said, naming “cancer patients seeking treatment and those who need surgery” as examples.

To date, 2,473 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been recorded in the Kurdistan Region, according to an interactive dashboard from the KRG. There have been 1,036 recoveries and 54 deaths; 1,383 cases remain active.  

The majority of the Kurdistan Region coronavirus cases have been recorded in Sulaimani province – as have all but seven of the Region’s virus related deaths. 

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