Warning Alert

Authorities in Iran reimpose restrictions in most provinces through at least Oct. 9 due to coronavirus activity.

Alert Begins 06 Oct 2020 03:26 AM UTC
Alert Expires 27 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC


  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide
  • Start Time/Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased security


Iranian authorities have reimposed restrictions in most of the country's provinces through at least Oct. 9 to combat a recent surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. In Tehran, authorities closed schools, universities, places of worship, libraries, museums, theaters, gyms, cafes, reception halls, zoos, swimming pools, and hair salons. Additionally, all social gatherings, including Friday prayers, are prohibited for the duration of the measure.

Similar restrictions are in place throughout most of the country, especially in provinces with high COVID-19 rates. The Ministry of Health has divided the country into "white," "yellow," and "red" zones depending on the COVID-19 fatality rate and extent of the outbreak, with white being the lowest threat. Zones with more than three COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population are categorized as red, while white zones have less than one. As of Oct. 6, authorities have classified 26 of the country's 31 provinces as red.

Authorities also announced that they plan to increase enforcement of health protocols, such as mandatory protective face coverings in public. Individuals who violate the mask mandate may be subject to fines. Businesses that violate health protocols may face closure.

Authorities previously eased the following COVID-19-related restrictions:


  • Restaurants reopened nationwide May 26. Restaurants can accept customers but must continue to abide by safe distancing protocols.
  • Officials lifted the ban on intercity travel April 20.
  • Shopping malls and bazaars reopened April 20.
  • Government offices resumed work April 11.

Iranian authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.


Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Iran correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.


Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all business appointments and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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