Algeria is gradually reopening on Saturday its mosques and places of entertainment such as cafes, restaurants, parks and beaches. This is a welcome step during the heat wave and after five months of quarantine because of the new Coronavirus.
“The atmosphere at home was becoming unbearable with the children who were bored, I couldn’t stand it anymore,” Soraya told AFP, who went out very early on Saturday morning with her neighbor Fatima and the children to spend the day at the beach.
The security services are responsible for ensuring that the wearing of masks, which has been obligatory in public since 24 May, is respected, and that instructions are given on how to keep a distance between swimmers. Police will be on the beaches this summer.
Cafés and restaurants are also reopening this Saturday, at least for those who have not closed for months.
Algeria’s largest mosques, which can accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers, have also reopened.
However, the Friday prayer will remain banned until the health situation is under complete control and the faithful are required to wear masks.
Mosques – like parks, schools and universities, stadiums and festival halls – have been completely closed since 19 March.
A total number of about 37,700 cases of Covid-19 have been officially declared on Algerian soil since the first case on 25 February, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health.
More than 1,350 deaths have been recorded, making Algeria the third most distressed country in Africa behind Egypt and South Africa.
The government has extended the partial confinement at home in 29 of the country’s 48 wilayas (prefectures) until 31 August. A curfew remains in force there from 23H00 to 05H00 local time (22H00-05H00 GMT). Confinement has been lifted in the remaining 19 wilayas.