Starting Monday, February 22nd, the following businesses and services will be allowed to operate:
Auto repair shops
Taxis (no more than 3 passengers, driver included)
Licensed factories, with a 40% operational capacity
During this stage, which extends until March 8th, businesses and factories must administer PCR tests for all of their employees every 30 days. It is to note that citizens over the age of 60 may not work during this stage.
Commenting on the upcoming phase, the head of Rafik Hariri University Hospital, Dr. Firass Abiad, tweeted on Saturday that COVID-19 indicators show “a persistently high community transmission especially in low compliance regions, and almost full hospitals.”
He cited the regions of Akkar and Baalbek/Hermel in that regard as marking the upward trend due to low compliance with restrictions, compared to improvement noticeable in Beirut and Mount Lebanon where there has been better compliance.
The health expert warned that reopening schools will also facilitate community transmission, noting the limited supply of vaccines in Lebanon at this time, which indicates that the vaccine will “unlikely have an effect on the Covid numbers till later.”
With that said, Dr. Abiad concluded: “Hope now lies on vaccinating as many high-risk individuals as possible and relying on personal compliance with safety measures. Let us beware the ides of March.”