Government eases restrictions: foreigners may arrive in Armenia; the ban on gatherings will be lifted
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An extraordinary Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Prior to discussing the agenda, Minister of Healthcare Arsen Torosyan provided a COVID-19 update for Armenia.
The Government made a decision to extend the state of emergency for 30 days through September 11, 17:00 local time. Minister of Justice Rustam Badasyan noted that this is the 5th extension which, however, envisages a number of mitigations.
The Minister presented the amended decision on extending the state of emergency. First, the ban on foreign citizens’ arrival is lifted.
“At the same time, if a person is not hospitalized upon his arrival in Armenia, he or she will have to be self-isolated for 14 days, but there is one innovation: they can apply for a coronavirus test within 14 days, and quit the regime of mandatory self-isolation in case of a negative result,” Rustam Badasyan said.
The ban on rallies and strikes is lifted throughout the territory of the Republic of Armenia, subject to certain rules. In particular, participants shall be asked to wear a mask compliant with the requirements of the state of emergency and practice social distancing of at least 1.5 meters.
No restrictions will be applied while organizing or participating in family functions and entertainment events in both open areas and premises unless they involve not more than 40 participants who should respect the prescribed safety rules.
The possibility of imposing restrictions on the transportation of goods across the customs border has been eliminated. The procedure of exercising electronic control for detecting and isolating the infected persons, as well as the possibility of receiving relevant information about contacted persons or self-isolated persons for a period of not more than 14 days has been streamlined.
Highlighting the decision, Nikol Pashinyan noted that freedom of assembly has been widely discussed of late in our country. “With this decision, we remove practically all restrictions on freedom of assembly, except for the respect of safety rules. In other words, demonstrations, marches, rallies can take place in the Republic of Armenia, provided that the participants are required to wear a mask and observe a 1.5-meter social distancing. But should we suddenly have an increase in infection statistics, we will have to resume the restrictions. In other words, we will be guided by the epidemiological situation. Since we have some decline in COVID-19 incidences, we decided to ease these restrictions, or to lift them at al in some areas,” the Prime Minister said.
The Executive amended one of its previous decisions by combining the implementation of anti-epidemic measures in case of lifting the ban on foreign citizens’ arrival through Armenia’s air border checkpoints due to the need to manage the influx of foreigners. Accordingly, it is envisaged to regulate the issuance of entry visas, and minimize the number issuances at the border checkpoint upon arrival.
All persons arriving in the Republic of Armenia shall be informed about the anti-epidemic conditions of stay in the territory of the Republic of Armenia (alternative to self-isolation or testing, possibility of pre-testing) in advance as part of the visa issuance process.
In a bid to control the flow of foreigners from about 70 countries before their arrival in Armenia, the issuance of entry visas at the border checkpoint will be provided only for a specific category of persons, while maintaining other ways of obtaining a visa in a simplified manner for other foreign citizens in advance (in the diplomatic service without invitation or e-visa electronic system).