NOUAKCHOTT - The West African desert state of Mauritania has scaled back two-month-old restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, notably allowing markets and prayer gatherings to resume.
The government will "progressively ease preventative measures," an official announcement late Wednesday said.
Markets will be allowed to reopen from Thursday and group prayers from Friday, while a nightly curfew is being reduced by two hours, running from 11pm to 6am.
Restaurants will be allowed to serve takeaway food, but seated dining will be strictly forbidden.
Wearing a mask, social distancing and hand washing in markets and houses of worship will remain in place.
Similarly, the country's airports, borders with neighbouring countries and schools remain closed, and travel between its 13 regions is still banned.
Mauritania has recorded eight confirmed cases of coronavirus, one of which was fatal.