Algeria to reimpose restrictions after coronavirus cases rise

ALGIERS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Algeria will reimpose restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 from Nov. 17, including closing gyms, cultural centres, leisure venues and used car markets, and limiting opening hours for some businesses, the prime minister’s office said on Sunday.

The new measures are aimed at coping with “the worrying phase that the country is experiencing in terms of the evolution of the epidemiological situation,” it said in a statement.

Under the restrictions, businesses such as cafes, restaurants, hair salons and toy shops will be ordered to close at 3:00 p.m.

The North African country had started easing restrictions in June after a downward trend in cases, paving the way for the reopening of most businesses.

But the situation has worsened again in recent weeks, causing a surge in the number of patients.

Among those is President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 75, who was flown to a German hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. The presidency said on Sunday he had finished treatment for the disease but would undergo follow-up checks.

The government has announced a total of 66,679 cases of COVID-19 and 2,154 deaths from the disease. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed, Editing by Timothy Heritage)