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In Congo-Brazzaville, following the lifting of the curfew for the night of December 24th and New Year’s Eve and for the first time since March 2020 many business owners were allowed to work without any time limits.

In the economic capital, Pointe-Noire, this trader welcomed the easing of measures.

“I think there is an increase in revenue because before people were afraid to go out at 10pm because the curfew was already close. But now that people know that the curfew is at 11pm, we see people coming and shopping” said a trader interviewed by Africanews.

With the curfew going from 8pm to 11pm on the rest of the weekdays, and the resumption of wedding celebrations, many shopkeepers and hauliers saw this as an opportunity to make money, before realising that they are still a long way from the good old days of the holiday season.

“Despite the fact that the State has taken the initiative to lift the curfew, it is important to know that the Congolese people have become accustomed to the curfew, and you will even notice that the atmosphere is not as we wanted. There is not only the health crisis, but also the financial crisis that is shaking the country”, said Mr. Gomes, commercial manager of a lounge bar.

Others such as this taxi driver feels that there is no need for the curfew anymore.

“One thing is for sure, we don’t need this curfew anymore, we have the vaccines, that’s what we have to apply. I don’t see the difference between day and night”.

“Yes, in a way it’s a relief, at the same time we keep in mind that the disease is still there so we have to be careful” said another customer.

Africanews reporter Cedric Lyonnel Sehossolo added:

“There is no indication that these measures are the beginning of a return to normal life in the Republic of Congo, as the country is still far from the government’s 30 per cent immunisation coverage target”.

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