Kazakhstan Eases COVID-19 Restrictions, Reopens Places of Worship, Sports Centers, Cultural Venues

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has taken further steps to ease the current COVID-19 restrictions in the country. Starting from Aug. 31, the nation will reopen religious, sports, and cultural facilities, among other objects based on a recent decision by the government commission chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov.

Photo credit: Nur-Sultan Akimat Press service

Quarantine restrictions that were in place from July 5 until Aug. 17 have helped decrease the spread of COVID-19 ten-fold, reported the Kazakh Healthcare Ministry. 

“The number of ambulance calls has decreased by four times, the bed occupancy rate has been eased by 80 percent, while the number of mobile medical teams has increased by 7.6 times,” reported the Kazakh government’s press service. 

Starting from Aug. 31, places of worship will reopen for private prayer only. Gyms and swimming pools will restart their work, but the number of persons in the venue will be determined by the “one person per five square meters” rule. 

Kazakhstan will also reopen culture and sports facilities and allow groups of up to 15 people to visit national parks and nature reserves, but with strict social distancing and mandatory mask wearing while outside. 

Suburban passenger trains, electric trains, and intercity buses will also resume their work. 

“All facilities can restart their work only after receiving the official documents proving their readiness (to reopen). The regional akimats, the healthcare ministry, the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs and the public should ensure strict compliance with all sanitary requirements,” said Tugzhanov. 

The second easing of restrictions comes a week after Kazakhstan resumed international flights to seven countries, including Germany, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The flights to Turkey that were abruptly suspended Aug. 5 will be also be resumed from Aug. 27, said the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee in its Telegram channel and flights to Egypt will start from Sept. 12. 

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