Iran’s Interior Ministry on Thursday advised Iranian citizens to immediately break-off their Persian New Year holidays and return home as the rate of new coronavirus cases showed no sign of slowing.
According to the ministry, only permanent residents will now be allowed to re-enter cities, issuing new instructions.
According to the new rules, any car or cars found with number plates from other regions would be confiscated for one month, and their owners made to pay fines equivalent of up to 33 dollars.
Iran is in the midst of annual Persian New Year celebrations, which began on March 20, and last for 14 days. Many Iranians typically use the break as an opportunity to go on holiday.
The ministry told state news agency, IRNA, that with the country’s coronavirus outbreak showing no signs of abating, the government’s social distancing plan would remain in place at least until April 3.
The rules require all schools, universities, parks and other public places to close, and downsize government officials by two-thirds.
However, Health Minister Saeid Namaki, called for Iran’s parliament to shut down and for sessions to be transferred onto video conferencing.
Iran has seen one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks with latest figures on Thursday confirming 2,234 virus-related deaths from just under 30,000 cases.