Agency Tehran: Iran will ban intercity travel within days as it finally gets tough with the coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 people in one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks, officials said Wednesday. The strict new measures come after weeks of cajoling largely failed to prevent hundreds of thousands of Iranians taking to the roads to visit family for the two-week Persian New Year holiday. “New journeys will be banned, leaving towns and cities will be banned,” government spokesman Ali Rabii announced, hours after President Hassan Rouhani revealed the government was poised to introduce “difficult” new measures against the outbreak. “People should return to their home towns as quickly as possible,” Rabii said. He said the government would issue a statutory instrument setting out fines for violations. “Of course, the security forces are going to stop it,” he said, referring to travel on Iran’s major highways. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told official news agency IRNA Wednesday that the ban would enter force “tomorrow or the day after”. Addressing a cabinet meeting earlier, Rouhani had warned that the new measures could be adopted as soon as Wednesday evening.
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