Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown

Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown
All non-essential business will close on Thursday afternoon. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 25 March 2020

Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown

Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown
  • The closure of non-essential businesses will take effect on Thursday evening
  • Businesses can still continue operating via online platforms, deliveries and takeaways

DUBAI: Bahrain has ordered all non-essential businesses to close from Thursday, March 26, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, adding that only hypermarkets, supermarkets, cold stores, bakeries, pharmacies, and banks can remain open.

The directive, issued by the government’s executive committee added that restaurants can continue to operate, but on a takeaway and delivery basis only.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism issued a notice clarifying what is deemed non-essential.

The order requires all non-essential retail and industrial enterprises to close temporarily,  from 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 until 1900 on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

The order added that all retail and industrial enterprises would reopen open from April 9 to April 23.

But retail and industrial organizations will be allowed to continue business via online platforms and social media

The following types of business are excluded from these measures, and will be allowed to continue to operate as usual:

  • Hypermarkets, supermarkets, cold stores, grocery stores, butcher and fish shops, and bakeries
  • Natural gas and liquid fueling stations
  • Hospitals, medical centers, pharmacies and opticians
  • Banks and currency exchange bureaus
  • Corporate administration offices of companies and organizations that conduct activities without direct engagement with customers
  • Businesses that import, export and distribute goods
  • Garages and repair shops
  • Businesses operating in the construction and maintenance industry
  • Manufacturers

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots
Updated 18 January 2021

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots
  • The unrest came after Tunisia imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem a rise in coronavirus infections on Thursday

TUNIS: More than 600 people have been arrested and troops have been deployed after a third consecutive night of riots in several Tunisian cities, officials said Monday.
The unrest came after Tunisia imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem a rise in coronavirus infections on Thursday — the same day as it marked the 10th anniversary of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s fall from power.
Interior ministry spokesman Khaled Hayouni said a total of 877 people were arrested, notably “groups of people between the ages of 15, 20 and 25 who burned tires and bins in order to block movements by the security forces.”
Defense ministry spokesman Mohamed Zikri meanwhile said the army has deployed reinforcements in several areas of the country.
Hayouni said that some of those arrested lobbed stones at police and clashed with security forces.
“This has nothing to do with protest movements that are guaranteed by the law and the constitution,” said Hayouni.
“Protests take place in broad daylight normally... without any criminal acts involved,” he added.
Hayouni said two policemen were wounded in the unrest.
It was not immediately clear if there were injuries among the youths and Hayouni did not say what charges those arrested faced.
The clashes took place in several cities across Tunisia, mostly in working-class neighborhoods, with the exact reasons for the disturbances not immediately known.
But it came as many Tunisians are increasingly angered by poor public services and a political class that has repeatedly proved unable to govern coherently a decade on from the 2011 revolution.
GDP shrank by nine percent last year, consumer prices have spiralled and one third of young people are unemployed.
The key tourism sector, already on its knees after a string of deadly jihadist attacks in 2015, has been dealt a devastating blow by the pandemic.
Tunisia has registered more than 177,000 coronavirus infections, including over 5,600 deaths since the pandemic erupted last year.
The four-day lockdown ended on Sunday night, but it was not immediately know if other restrictions would be imposed.


The army has deployed troops in Bizerte in the north, Sousse in the east and Kasserine and Siliana in central Tunisia, the defense ministry spokesman said.
Sousse, a coastal resort overlooking the Mediterranean, is a magnet for foreign holidaymaking that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
The health crisis and ensuing economic misery have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to seek to leave the country.
On Sunday evening in Ettadhamen, a restive working-class neighborhood on the edge of the Tunisian capital, the mood was sombre.
“I don’t see any future here,” said Abdelmoneim, a waiter, as the unrest unfolded around him.
He blamed the violence on the country’s post-revolution political class and said the rioting youths were “bored adolescents” who reflected the “failure” of politicians.
Abdelmoneim said he was determined to take a boat across the Mediterranean to Europe “as soon as possible, and never come back to this miserable place.”
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