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Cutebwoy:  Iraq to reopen airports to international flights July 23: state media

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq will reopen its airports to international commercial flights on July 23 as it eases coronavirus-related lockdown measures, state media reported Thursday.

The decision also affects airports within the Kurdistan Region, which operate under federal authority.

As part of efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority on March 17 banned commercial passenger flights. The ban was extended multiple times as the virus continued to spread quickly throughout the country.

The government committee overseeing Iraq’s response to the pandemic, led by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, on Thursday decided to ease several lockdown measures in Iraq. Shopping malls may now re-open and curfew will be imposed for shorter hours, form 9:30pm to 6:00am. The curfew will be lifted in early August, the state news reported.

In addition to the airports, on July 23, the border crossings of al-Munzariya and al-Shaib with Iran, and Safwan with Kuwait will be opened.

The Kurdistan Region has imposed its own set of coronavirus restrictions, including shops, markets, and restaurants closing from midnight to 5:00am. Public places such as religious sites, parks, cinemas, and gyms must remain closed.

Iraq recorded 2,281 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, including the Kurdistan Region. This brings the total number of the cases to 86,148. Of this, 3,522 people have died.