Kyrgyzstan to lift most coronavirus-linked restrictions

FILE PHOTO: Kyrgyz law enforcement officers patrol a street near the government house, after authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek and imposed a curfew as an additional measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov/File Photo

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan will lift most of the remaining coronavirus-related restrictions in the coming days, reopening the retail and services sectors and public transportation, the government said on Tuesday.

The country has confirmed 1,243 COVID-19 cases with 14 deaths, and 898 people have recovered. It ended a state of emergency this month which had been introduced in March and saw curfews imposed in major cities.

Hotels and most service providers will reopen across the nation of 7 million from May 21, while malls and large non-food markets - a key sector for the country which serves as a regional hub for Chinese consumer goods - will reopen on May 25, Deputy Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov told a briefing.

Public transit will also restart work from May 25, he said. Higher-risk facilities such as public pools and saunas will remain closed and so will schools, although kindergartens may reopen in June.

Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov and Angus MacSwan