Algeria enforces fresh virus restrictions

ALGIERS (AFP) – Algeria imposed new coronavirus restrictions last Sunday, closing sport and cultural centres as well as beaches after a spike in infections.

The government called on Algerians to fight what it called a “concerning phase” of the pandemic.

Algeria registered over 68,000 infections and at least 2,100 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health, with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune hospitalised in Germany with the virus last month.

Under the new restrictions, announced by the Prime Minister’s Office, a curfew will be imposed overnight across much of the country. Sports halls, recreational and leisure areas, beaches, youth and cultural centres will be shut for 15 days.

Businesses are required to close from 3pm, with cafes and restaurants limited to takeaway.

The government also reiterated there was a ban on large public gatherings, saying they help spread the virus.

Algeria has been rocked by large anti-government rallies, and an attempt to bury the movement with a referendum to revise the constitution flopped with record low turnout.