Azerbaijan quarantine requires SMS permission to leave home


On April 5, Azerbaijan tightened the quarantine regime imposed on March 24 to require residents under 65 to receive permission via an SMS message before leaving their homes. Only three reasons are allowed: to visit the doctor, to visit a pharmacy, shop, bank, or post office, or attend a relative's funeral. Sending the message is free; it must include the resident's personal ID number and their reason for leaving the house. Permits grant a two-hour window, and residents can only have one per day; they can be rejected if the resident gives incorrect information. Residents over 65 are not allowed to leave their homes, and the employees of several state agencies as well as private legal entities and diplomats are exempt. Mobile phone coverage in Azerbaijan is generally good, but in some cases users' phone numbers have been blocked due to outstanding unpaid balances with mobile operators. There have also been cases of falsification of permits and fraudulent sales, and critics have expressed concern about a lack of safeguards for personal information..


Writer: Aisha Jabbarova
Publication: Global Voices