Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has announced decisions on reopening the country by easing COVID-19 restrictions. The decisions are to go into effect Saturday 27 June, and include reopening restaurants, coffeeshops, private sports clubs, and youth centres at 25 per cent of their capacity. Smoking the popular water pipe, the shisha, is banned for its potential to spread the virus.
Shops are to close at 9:00pm instead of the current 6pm, but restaurants and coffee shops which are currently closed except for delivery or drive-through service, may open till 10pm. The decision will be applied on an experimental basis pending the daily increase or decrease in COVID-19 cases.
Parks and entertainment venues are to remain temporarily closed because of potential crowding which could work to spread the virus.
Mass transport means stop at midnight and resume at 4am.
Places of worship, be they mosques or churches, may open for daily prayer or worship starting Saturday 27 June, but may not hold the main weekly rituals of Friday and Sunday; this includes [the Muslim] Friday Prayers.
Reception halls in places of worship, commonly used for weddings or condolences, are to remain closed for fear of overcrowding. This is pending the rise or fall in daily COVID-19 numbers. Theatres and cinema theatres may open at only 25 per cent of their capacity, as a first phase.
The 8pm to 4am curfew was lifted.
Fr Boulos Halim, the Coptic Orthodox Church’s spokesperson, issued a statement which informed that the Standing Committee of the Coptic Holy Synod will convene on its prescheduled date of 27 June to decide on the details of reopening churches according the the Prime Minister’s decision. The statement said that the Church plans to start, as a first step, with churches in governorates with the lowest numbers of COVID-19 cases, while applying all cautionary measures. Churches have been closed since 21 March 2020.
23 June 2020