Tunisia/Virus: Three weeks prolonged night curfew

The night curfew has been extended for three weeks in Tunisia, as well as restrictive measures related to the fight against the novel coronavirus, to cope with the increase in the number of patients, the government said.

The curfew, decided at the beginning of October in several major cities and widespread at the end of the same month, was extended by three weeks, according to a statement by the Minister of Health published late Saturday night on Facebook.

It is forbidden to travel between 20:00 and 05:00 local (19:00 to 04:00 GMT) from Monday to Friday, and between 19:00 to 05:00 (18:00 to 04:00 GMT) on weekends.

Other restrictions are also extended, including the prohibition of movement between governorates, although it is not widely enforced.

Gatherings of more than four people remain prohibited in public places, with the exception of transport. Cafes and restaurants close them at 16:00 local (15H GMT).

Only evolution: universities will be able to resume face-to-face teaching on Monday.

Schools remain open, but students go there every other day to reduce the number of students present at the same time.

The government has repeatedly ruled out new containment because of economic and social costs.

After strict and early containment from March to June, GDP fell by 6% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, the National Statistics Institute said Saturday. Unemployment, which had soared and exceeded 18%, declined officially to 16.2% in the third quarter.

Tunisia, a country of 11 million inhabitants, has officially registered more than 1,000 new cases a day in recent weeks, while hospitals are struggling to manage the influx of patients.

A total of 79,339 cases have been officially recorded since the beginning of the epidemic in the country, including 2,279 deaths.