Coronavirus: Ethiopia Bans Handshakes and Gatherings, Violators Risk Jail Term

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Authorities in Ethiopia have banned large gatherings and handshakes as a preventive measure against coronavirus.

The restrictions were put in place by a state of emergency declared to combat the coronavirus pandemic were announced over the weekend.

Large gatherings had already been banned and schools had been closed in early measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The state of emergency was announced last week but details of its implementation were released on Saturday.

  • The decree has banned gatherings of more than four people unless there is an absolute necessity, in which case permits need to be acquired from authorities. Handshakes are also not allowed.
  • People now also have to wear masks in public
  • Public transport operators have to cut their seat occupancy by half, while hotels and restaurants are not allowed to have more than three customers on a table
  • Landlords cannot evict tenants and neither can they increase rent
  • Employers are prohibited from laying off workers on the grounds that business has slowed down

People who break these restrictions could face a three-year prison sentence, the decree says.

The authorities have said that ordering a complete shutdown might not be practical but they hope these restrictions will help in curbing the spread of the virus.

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Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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