The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has been spreading in the world since December 2019, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Although the quarantine regime is currently applied by most countries fighting COVID-19, some of the existing restrictions are relaxed in accordance with the sanitary-epidemiological situation and a mechanism of gradual exit from the quarantine regime is applied.

The duration of the special quarantine regime applied in the country was extended by Decision No 144 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 18 April 2020. The current sanitary-epidemiological situation with the COVID-19 virus, in particular, the dynamics and geography of the spread of the disease, the density of people in quarantine zones and the incidence of the virus among them have been analyzed and the decision has been reached to relax some of the restrictions as of 27 April 2020, the Task Force under the Cabinet of Ministers told AZERTAC.

Thus, starting from 00:00 on 27 April 2020 on the territory of Azerbaijan:

1) Reception of citizens at “ASAN xidmət” service centers will start with prior online queuing using ASAN mobile application, web-site and call centers.

2) Activities in the following work and service areas will be resumed:

● Individual teaching and tutoring services (excluding group classes)

● Sale of books

● Sale of newspapers

● Sale of stationery

● Printing and copying activities

● Photo studios

● Cleaning services in individual apartments

● Tailor’s services

● Sale of cosmetics and perfumes

● Sale of clothes

● Sale of shoes and leather goods

● Sale of gold and other jewelry and pawnshop activities

● Sale and repair of mobile devices, spare parts and accessories

● Sale and repair of computer equipment

● Sale of electronics and home appliances

● Sale of furniture

● Sale of automobiles

● Sale of chemical products

● Sale of flowers and plants

● Sale of agricultural machinery, spare parts and equipment

● Sale of fertilizers and agrochemical products

Restrictions on the activities in the above-mentioned areas located within shopping centers and malls remain in force.

The movement of persons engaged in activity areas for which restrictions have been lifted shall be allowed after their employer enters information about them into the “icaze.e-gov.az” portal using electronic signature.

The activities of relevant agencies and service areas during the pandemic shall be carried out in accordance with the rules of social and sanitary-epidemiological conduct. The said rules will be prepared by the Task Force under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and disclosed to the public.

In addition, starting from 00:00 on 27 April 2020, the duration of permits to leave the place of residence on the basis of an SMS message sent to 8103 will be extended from two to three hours. Since restrictions on some areas of activity are being lifted from the said date, requests for permission shall be sent to 8103 in the following cases:

● Figure 1 – to leave the place of residence to seek urgent medical assistance or undergo scheduled treatment (permission is granted for three hours within the district and city. If there is a need for travel between districts and cities, the distance between the residential address and the address of the destination, as well as the duration of treatment are taken into account. The time of return is established by a certificate issued by the doctor, which, if necessary, is submitted to the police);

● Figure 2 – to leave the place of residence due to the need to use services that have been allowed (permission is granted for three hours once a day);

● Figure 3 – to leave the place of residence to participate in the funeral of a close relative.

As declared, the sanitary-epidemiological situation in the country in relation to the COVID-19 virus is regularly analyzed and rules are applied in accordance with the current situation. Therefore, depending on the dynamics of the COVID-19 infection and the overall situation in relation to the disease in the country, the special quarantine regime may be tightened again if necessary.

All measures in relation to the COVID-19 virus are being taken to protect the health and safety of the population. Over the past period, it has been possible to prevent the spread of the virus in the country specifically as a result of solidarity between the state and its citizens. Therefore, we call on every individual to display social responsibility, provide maximum support for the measures being taken by the state and comply with the requirements and recommendations of the Task Force.

In the current situation related to COVID-19, we urge everyone to follow the rules of personal hygiene, take measures of medical prophylaxis, leave home only in case of a serious need, have minimal contact with other people in public places and comply with the existing preventive measures. Since the fight against COVID-19 is a long-term process, it is recommended that preventive measures against the disease become part of everyone’s lifestyle, the task force noted.