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Serbia cautiously eases lockdown, plans to restart public transport

Serbia will resume bus and rail services and allow commercial flights as part of its cautious easing of the nationwide lockdown as the rate of coronavirus infections slows, health authorities said on Tuesday.

Passenger air transport, suspended in March when Serbia introduced a state of emergency and closed its borders, will be possible from May 18, epidemiologist Branislav Tiodorovic told reporters.

Commuter transport in major cities, including the capital Belgrade, will be restored in the first half of May, along with rail and bus services. Shopping malls, cafes and restaurants will also reopen on the condition that they must maintain social distancing between customers. “We can reverse this, if the situation proves us wrong,” Tiodorovic said.

The country introduced measures last month to curb the spread of the virus, including a €5.1 billion ($5.6 billion) support program for small businesses. The government has already allowed small businesses to open, shortened a night curfew and eased a 24-hour lockdown for people aged 65 and above.

Around 8,500 people in the Balkan country have been confirmed to have had the coronavirus and 168 people have died from it, Reuters said.

Header: Panorama of Belgrade, Serbia – Tijana Lubura.