The Algerians were able to return on Saturday to their beaches, cafes and mosques after five months of confinement. Several measures have been taken to ensure the wearing of masks and physical distance. Our offenders have heavy fines.
After five months of containment due to the coronavirus pandemic, Algerians, on Saturday 15 August, found entertainment on the beach and coffee, and the faithful, their mosques.
“The atmosphere at home became unbearable for the bored children, I could not take it anymore,” Soraya told AFP, with her neighbor Fatima and the children spending the day at the beach.
She admits that she has wanted to defy the ban in recent days, but the fear of being verbalized has slowed her enthusiasm. Everyone wears the mask, mandatory in public. Our offenders have heavy fines.
The security services, including the police, on foot or by quad bikes, are responsible for ensuring that masks are worn and instructions for distance between swimmers.
The reopening of mosques, the great Friday prayer is forbidden
The largest mosques in Algeria also welcome new believers. On the other hand, the great Friday prayer remains forbidden as long as the health situation is not completely mastered.
Initially, the reopening of services will be limited to mosques that can accommodate more than 1,000 believers. The mask is mandatory and the believers must stand one meter apart.
Cleaning and disinfection operations took place with the participation of many volunteers. In some mosques the carpets were removed, in others they were covered with plastic. Every devotee must bring his prayer mat, otherwise he gets a disposable mat.
“Let us thank God. I have noticed that people respect the rules of hygiene. It is good because when we will pray it is to do a good deed, not to do something bad by polluting others,” testified Abdelmalek, a 57- year old pensioner.
Women, children under the age of 15 and vulnerable people are not allowed to go to pray at the moment. Some practitioners met in the working class neighborhood of Bab El Oued in Algiers did not understand this “pray”.
For the Minister of Religious Affairs, Youcef Belmehdi, compliance with preventive measures will “accelerate” the full reopening of worship services.
Like parks, schools and universities and stadiums, mosques had been completely closed since March 19. The pools, hammams and party rooms will remain so.
The risk of a new wave of Covid-19
Cafes and restaurants have also reopened, but the government has warned that these measures could be questioned if the health situation worsens.
Sociologist Zoubir Arous also warns against a new wave of Covid-19 linked to a “rapid” reopening decided “in office”. “I understand that those who live at 20 in a two-room apartment can not take it anymore, but we are facing an exceptional situation.”
The government extended the partial exile until August 31 in 29 of the country’s 48 wilayas (prefectures). An exit at night remains. The inclusion has been lifted in the other 19 wilayas.
In total, almost 40,000 cases of coronavirus have been officially declared in Algeria since February. About 1,360 deaths have been recorded, making Algeria the third most mourned country in Africa behind Egypt and South Africa.