Iran to tighten COVID-19 restrictions next Saturday - Rouhani

Iran to tighten COVID-19 restrictions next Saturday - Rouhani

Iran will impose stricter restrictions from next Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said on state television, as the Middle East country hardest hit by the virus battles a third wave of COVID-19, Swiss Info reports.

The toughest measures - classified by health officials as "red" or level 3 - will be imposed in the capital Tehran and about 100 other towns and cities.

Non-essential businesses and services will be shut and cars will not be allowed to leave or enter, Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said in a televised media briefing.

Iranian health officials have devised a colour-coding system that denotes the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

"The goal is not to shut down people's businesses, but we have to set limits," Raisi said.

Some 150 towns and cities are rated "orange" or level 2, he said.

In these, one-third of employees can go to work whereas in 155 towns where the rating is "yellow" or level 1 two-thirds of the workforce can work from their workplaces.

"Shutdowns are not limited to jobs, but also include universities, schools and training centres," Rouhani said. "In the red and orange cities, training will take place remotely."