WUHAN, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Companies should not resume business before March 10 in central China's Hubei Province, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, local authorities said Thursday.
The requirement is part of the efforts to consolidate the positive effect of epidemic control, which has entered a crucial stage in Hubei, according to a circular released by the provincial epidemic prevention and control headquarters.
However, the requirement does not apply to companies necessary for epidemic control, public utilities and people's daily necessities, or those essential for important national and public interests, says the circular.
Those resuming production should strictly follow anti-epidemic measures to guarantee the legal rights and interests of workers, and authorities should enhance guidance and supervision in various sectors, according to the circular.
Hubei's universities, colleges, middle and primary schools, vocational schools, technical schools and kindergartens should delay the new school term until further notice.
The circular also urges the public to strictly abide by requirements by decreasing outdoor activities, avoiding public gatherings and keeping a clean home environment. Those not wearing masks in public could face punishments in accordance with laws and regulations.