Iran Begins Soft Reopening After Coronavirus Shutdowns

Shoppers return to bazaars and malls as restrictions on travel between provinces are eased

Videos show worshippers trying to break into a holy shrine and car traffic in the country despite travel restrictions. WSJ’s Sune Rasmussen explains why some Iranians aren’t following their government’s advice on coronavirus. Photo: Mehdi Marizad/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images (Originally Published March 19, 2020)

Iran’s government allowed local bazaars and shopping malls to reopen on Monday, a potential milestone for a country that was one of the first outside of China to be hit by the new coronavirus and that has suffered extensive economic damage from the pandemic.

Tehran’s main bazaar reopened after more than a month and restrictions on travel between provinces were eased. But the tentative reopening of Iran’s economy drew warnings from some health officials, who said they feared a premature return to normalcy would jeopardize hard-won...