Malawi government has outlined strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people and that Police and local authorities will have powers to disperse gatherings and wearing face masks is one mandatory in public places in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Announcing the new rules at a news conference in Lilongwe on Sunday morning, Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe said with effect from August 8 2020, pubs will open from 2pm to 8pm on takeaway basis and so too restaurants.

Silungwe said the rules have been guided by public health experts.

“What these rules have done is to convert those measures into legal framework, for purposes of enforcement,” said the Attorney General.

Other steps include barring traffic police from touching a driver’s license or any other documents.

All markets, shops and businesses that are in close proximity to hospitals have been ordered to close.

The government also has banned public gatherings, such as weddings, parties and bridal showers. But funerals attended by immediate family members – n0t more than 50 people -are allowed.

The restrictions come as Malawi continues to confirm increasing cases of Covid-19, with an average of 100 cases per day. As of Saturday, Malawi had registered 4,575 coronavirus cases with 137 deaths.

Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda has expressed worry over the local transmission of Covid-19 which is now at over 60%.