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YEREVAN. – At Wednesday's special sitting of the Cabinet, Minister of Justice Rustam Badasyan presented the draft on yet again extending the state of emergency in the Republic of Armenia (RA)—and due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, it is proposed to extend the current state of emergency from August 12 to September 11.

The state of emergency in Armenia is being extended for the fifth time, but this time some restrictions are being lifted or eased.

"The ban on persons no having RA citizenship entering the RA is lifted. At the same time, it is envisaged that if a person is not hospitalized when entering the RA, the latter [the person] is self-isolated for 14 days. But there is one novelty that it is possible to carry out a relevant test within 14 days, and in case of a negative result, self-isolation is lifted," Badasyan explained.

He added that the ban on rallies and strikes is also being lifted in Armenia, but certain rules must be observed. "It is necessary to wear a mask in accordance with the procedure set by the Commandant and in accordance with the requirements, and to maintain social distance (…)," said Rustam Badasyan.

Also, restrictions on organizing, holding, or participating in family events and entertainment are eased.

The possibility of imposing restrictions on the movement of goods across the customs border of Armenia will be eliminated, too.

After the presentation of the draft, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that demonstrations, marches, and rallies can take place now in Armenia, but on the condition that their participants must wear a mask and maintain social distance. "But I want to say again that if God forbid, we will have an increase in [coronavirus] numbers again as a result of these easing, we will have to impose restrictions again," Pashinyan stressed.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that the state of emergency will be extended in Armenia for the last time.

Subsequently, the government unanimously approved the decision to extend the current state of emergency in the country.

After the voting, Nikol Pashinyan added that a special sitting will be convened in the National Assembly later in the day, and deputy prime minister and state of emergency commandant Tigran Avinyan will report on this matter.

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