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Serbia eases lockdown this weekend despite health warnings

The government reversed its decision to lock the entire country down during the coming May Day weekend and instead introduced a curfew from 6pm on Thursday until 5pm on Saturday despite calls by doctors not to relax restrictions.

Serbia’s chief epidemiologist, Predrag Kon, a member of the government’s crisis team, sees the decision as a compromise. He said a three-day lockdown would have been a better and safer decision to prevent the disease spreading.

Serbia has so far reported 8,724 coronavirus cases and 173 deaths, Reuters said.

The government had adopted a policy of gradual easing, under which restaurants and cafes open from next week, public transport in Belgrade resumes on May 8, while kindergartens will open on May 11. Hairdressers were allowed to go back to work this week, with new safety measure.

Neighboring Bosnia reported a rise in cases on Wednesday after the government began easing restrictions. In Montenegro, no new cases were reported for the first time since March 17, when the Balkan state of 630,000 people recorded its first coronavirus case.

Header: Deputies attend a session in the Serbian parliament in Belgrade, Serbia, April 29, 2020. © Reuters / Marko Djurica