Lebanon relaxes coronavirus restrictions by opening seaside promenades, restaurants

Lebanon relaxes coronavirus restrictions by opening seaside promenades, restaurants
A man welcomes his friend after weeks of a national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus as plays paddleball at Beirut's seaside promenade, along the Mediterranean Sea during the coronavirus pandemic in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, May 3, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 03 May 2020

Lebanon relaxes coronavirus restrictions by opening seaside promenades, restaurants

Lebanon relaxes coronavirus restrictions by opening seaside promenades, restaurants
  • Lebanon will enter its second week of relaxed measures, with restaurants allowed to resume receiving customers until 9 p.m.
  • Barbers will be allowed to reopen salons for pre-booked appointments

BEIRUT: People in Lebanon will be able to go for walks on the seaside promenades along the Lebanese coast starting Monday, provided they commit to wearing masks and maintaining safe distances. This move comes following a ban imposed since March 15 due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Lebanon on Sunday reported four new cases, two of whom had returned from Guinea.
Lebanon will enter its second week of relaxed measures, with restaurants allowed to resume receiving customers until 9 p.m., provided they do not offer hookah services, which spread COVID-19. Barbers will be allowed to reopen salons for pre-booked appointments.
Protesters are violating measures by continuing to take to the streets and staging sit-ins against the corrupt government. A number of protesters in Tripoli raised a banner on which they wrote: “You are the thieves and you are the disease.”
The Lawyers’ Committee to Defend Protesters claimed that a number of  activists who had been arrested by the security forces last week have been tortured. The committee protested “enforced disappearance.”
The committee said in a statement that the military prosecution released six detainees, including a child, who were arrested in Sidon. According to the committee, “some of the detainees confirmed that they were subjected to beatings and torture by the intelligence branch through various means, especially via electrocution,” and some detainees had to be hospitalized upon their release.
Attention has been drawn to the invitation extended by President Michel Aoun to political and parliamentary leaders for a meeting in the Baabda Palace on Wednesday. During the meeting, Aoun will brief the participants about the reform plan approved by the government that represents Hezbollah, the Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement and their allies.
The Future Movement’s parliamentary bloc announced on Sunday that it will not attend the meeting.
It said that “the natural place for briefing the parliamentary blocs on the government’s reform program is the parliament.” It warned of “political and legal practices and advisory opinions that cross the lines of the constitution to establish the concept of a presidential system at the expense of the parliamentary democratic system.”
Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora expressed fears over “practices that are taking place and actually leading to the weakening of the prime minister’s position and pushing toward giving all power to the president.” He stressed that “this is against the constitution.”
Siniora warned of parties “trying to tighten their grip on the state and control it.” He talked about “pressure exerted by sectarian, confessional and militia movements and parties that have taken control of the government.”
He said: “The economic plan prepared by the government of Hassan Diab lacks what contributes to addressing the problems and the possibility of implementing reform measures, especially in terms of strengthening social protection networks.”
He added: “How can the government restore the confidence of the Lebanese and friends in the world if it does not respect the law and has not yet issued the judicial formations prescribed by laws?
“And how can the government gain confidence when it has not yet been able to address the chronic power problem?”
Siniora highlighted that “Lebanon is part of the Arab world and has no interest in a position, axis, or dispute (that impacts its relationship) with the Arab region and the world.”