Workers disinfect Qom”s Masumeh shrine in March, before the closure of religious sites because of Coronavirus (Mehdi Marizad/Fars)
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has announced that shrines will reopen from Monday.
Rouhani said Saturday that the sites will be open from sunrise to sunset, in the Government’s latest phase of lifting restrictions despite a resurgence of the virus.
He said there will be no congregational prayers, as social distancing will continue to be observed.
Rouhani also said that museums will reopen Sunday. Universities will resume classes from June 6, and sports matches will take place without spectators.
The Government began its easing of restrictions with the reopening of businesses across most of Iran on April 11 and in the capital Tehran on April 18. All mosques are now open, with plans for shopping centers to be discussed this week and restaurants allowed to reopen after the end of Ramadan.
#Iran's president said all employees will need to go to work as of next week (May 30) and so will travel agencies. He said Museums & historical sites will open as of tomorrow. Rouhani said #CoronaVirus-related controlling & monitoring measures will intensify using 185,000 people. pic.twitter.com/nghjA5rwPD
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) May 23, 2020
The reopening has been accompanied by a trebling of the daily rate of cases, after they had dropped to 803 on May 2.
The Health Ministry announced another 2,311 cases on Saturday, with 51 more deaths taking the official toll to 7,300.
But Rouhani insisted that Iran has “passed three stages” in dealing with Coronavirus, and is now on the fourth stage of containment.
He said that all Government employees, most of whom had been working from home, will now be required to work in offices from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm.
The Supreme Leader has mandated that, amid Iran’s economic crisis, the focus should be on his year of a “Surge in Production”.
In his Friday speech for Quds Day, focusing on Palestine, Ayatollah Khamenei made no reference to the virus. Instead, he called on Iranians to “yell at America” so the state of Israel will be “eliminated”.
4. The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region. It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed. Then, the shame will fall on those who put their facilities at the service of normalization of relations with this regime.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) May 22, 2020