President Macky Sall urged his people ‘‘to learn to live in the presence of the virus” as the new phase of the virus ‘‘will last not a few weeks but three or four months.”
Macky Sall announced the re-opening of mosques and churches and the easing of other restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus.
Places of worship were closed in March and a curfew was imposed. Since then, the daily pace of new cases has picked up, 177 on May 11 from a previous high of 104, with increasing community transmission in hotspots such as the holy city of Touba.
Schools will resume on June 2, but only for the approximately 551,000 students in examination classes, out of a total of 3.5 million.
Macky Sall also lifted the ban on repatriating the bodies of Senegalese who died abroad from Covid-19. Dozens of bodies have been blocked for several weeks, mainly in France, but also elsewhere in Europe and the United States.
Senegal has recorded 1,886 coronavirus cases in total, including 19 deaths.
Several other West African governments, including Burkina Faso and Ghana, have announced a similar easing of restrictions this month, while calling on their citizens to wear masks and practice social distancing.