Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday (January 22) removed Ebola district quarantine measures intended to curb the spread of the disease, declaring "victory is in sight" after a sharp drop in transmission.
Since the worst outbreak in history began in West Africa over a year ago, Sierra Leone has recorded more than 10,340 cases, making it the worst hit country. But signs are growing that the tide is turning against the disease.
"We are now entering a transition phase. Given the progress being made against the disease, we must take action to enable economic and social recovery," Koroma said in a televised address to the nation late on Thursday.
Quarantine measures were previously in place in six of 14 districts.
Koroma, who aims to get to zero cases in the former British colony by the end of March, said that restrictions on trading hours in Freetown would also be eased.
"Restrictions on movements will be eased to support economic activity. As such, there will no longer be any district or chiefdom level restrictions on movements. No quarantines or restrictions on movement above the household level will be imposed either by the Government or local authorities," Koroma said.
Individual households with known Ebola contacts will remain under quarantine.
Koroma urged people to refrain from touching the sick and the dead and said the country cannot relent, and must "soldier on".
In the latest health report on 21 January, Sierra Leone reported just 9 new confirmed cases versus 60 cases daily in late 2014. Neighbouring Liberia has also reported significant progress in rolling back Ebola, thanks partly to US military assistance, and it is now confined to just two counties.