Iran will reopen religious and cultural sites from Sunday as the coronavirus pandemic has reached its “containment phase”, President Hassan Rouhani said on state television Saturday. 

Museums will open from Sunday and holy shrines will be open for pilgrims on Monday, Rouhani said, but the opening of mosques and shopping centres will be discussed after the holidays.

The holy shrines will be open from sunrise to sunset, but no congregational prayers will be allowed, Rouhani said. 

Visitors of the sites will be required to abide by health and safety guidelines and the visits will be for a short period, he added.

Meanwhile, workers across the country will return to work from next Saturday.

“We can say we have passed the three stages regarding the coronavirus,” Rouhani said.

The fourth phase is containment in 10 of Iran’s 31 provinces, where the situation is better and screening will intensify while infected patients will be separated from the rest of the population.

The president said last week that restaurants would reopen after Ramadan and sports activities would resume without spectators. Universities, but not medical schools, will reopen on 6 June.

Rouhani said on Saturday that 88 percent of the fatalities from Covid-19 in Iran were victims with underlying illnesses.

According to health ministry figures, more than than 7,000 people have so far died from the pandemic in Iran and more than 130,000 have been infected.


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