Main image: Shvets
With the ongoing rise in Corona cases across Egypt, the Egyptian government has been forced to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its citizens amidst the pandemic. Over the last couple of weeks, specifically starting for the Sham El-Naseem vacation, all stores, malls, coffee shops, and restaurants have been required to close from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. This move was taken in an attempt to restrict public gatherings following Iftar.
Last Wednesday, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stated that the country would implement even stricter precautionary measures throughout the Eid Al-Fitr holiday in order to further prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The precautionary measures will be in effect until the 21st of May.
All businesses will still be required to close at 9:00 PM, with restaurants being able to make deliveries past that. However, pharmacies and supermarkets will be allowed to remain open 24/7. Additionally, a fine of 4,000 LE will be imposed in the case of restaurants or coffee shops serving shisha at any point during the two-week period.
Public gatherings of all sorts have been banned across the country, meaning all events, festivities, conferences, and mass activities of any sort have been banned for two weeks.
Moreover, public parks and beaches will be closed for the entirety of the holiday until the two-week period is over. However, private beaches and coffee shops will be allowed to operate away from these restrictions, while required to remain at a 50% capacity. Hotels are also allowed to operate at a limited capacity.
The Prime Minister also announced that between the 12th and 16th of May, Eid prayers will be allowed in mosques that have previously been permitted to hold Friday prayers. Children will not be permitted at Eid prayers.
So far, there have been no restrictions regarding internal travelling, meaning citizens can freely travel down any of the main highways throughout the period. However, between the 12th and 16th of May, large vehicles, excluding private cars, carrying large numbers of people will not be allowed to move between governorates, meaning group trips on busses will not be allowed.
Throughout the two-week period and beyond, citizens have been asked to stick to precautionary measures, asked to wear their masks, use sanitiser when necessary, and social distance at all times. The government will once again begin imposing a 50 LE fine for not wearing masks in public.
After the 16th of May, a meeting will be held by the Egyptian government to assess the situation and determine the state of the country moving forward. Hopefully, especially with the current mass vaccination campaign held by the government, Egypt will be able to keep its COVID cases numbers down for the upcoming period.