By Ayya Lmahamad
As of August 16, Azerbaijani citizens will be allowed to visit the reception centers of the Labor and Social Protection of Population Ministry, the ministry's institutions and DOST Centers only with a COVID-19 passport, the ministry's press service has reported.
The COVID-19 passports must show that residents have been vaccinated or have immunity after contracting the disease.
Citizens must also enter information about the availability of a COVID-19 passport before their applications to the ministry’s electronic services, including appeals over targeted state social assistance, can be considered.
The ministry stated that the new rules serve to encourage citizens’ more active participation in the nationwide vaccination process due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, adding that it is everyone's responsibility to protect themselves from the disease.
Azerbaijan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28, 2020. The country introduced a special quarantine regime on March 25 and took a number of measures to fight COVID-19 in the country.
The country started vaccinating citizens using China’s Sinovac on January 18, Vaxzevria vaccine produced by AstraZeneca on May 3, Russia’s Sputnik V on May 18 and US-produced Pfizer on June 7. The country started offering COVID-19 vaccination to citizens aged over 18 from May 10. The nationwide vaccination is free and on a voluntary basis and is in line with the “Strategy of vaccination against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022”.
Under the amendments made to the decision “On measures to extend the special regime and remove some restrictions” in the Cabinet of Minister briefing, as of September 1, residents over 18 will be required to have COVID-19 vaccines for use services of public catering establishments, hotels and large trade centers. COVID-19 passports were first applied as of May 31 for entry to sports and recreational centers and later for entry to concerts and weddings.
At the same time, as of August 9, Azerbaijan started issuing vaccination exemption certificates for citizens with contraindications to coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the country.
Azerbaijan has registered 351,825 COVID-19 cases so far. Some 5,418,243 COVID-19 vaccines have been provided to the citizens to this date. The first dose of the vaccine was given to 3,160,484 citizens, and the second one to 2,257,759 citizens.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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