Lebanon restricts cafes, beaches to the vaccinated or COVID tested

A person walks along the empty seaside promenade Beirut Corniche amid the coronavirus pandemic in Lebanon February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon is to limit entry to restaurants, cafes, pubs and beaches to people holding COVID-19 vaccine certificates or those who have taken antibodies tests, the tourism ministry said on Friday.

Non-vaccinated employees of these establishments would be required to conduct a PCR test every 72 hours, it added.

The move comes amidst a surge in infections with around 1,104 positive cases registered on Thursday compared to a few hundred a day in previous months.

Lebanon's cases peaked when a total lockdown was enforced in January after hospitals became overwhelmed amid a crippling financial crisis, with medicines running low and frequent power cuts.

The country gradually re-opened over the spring.

Lebanon's vaccination drive has been slow with only around 18% of the population fully vaccinated.

(Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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