Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has announced new measures for the partial lockdown imposed in the country as it battles COVID-19. The PM’s announcement was made at a Cairo press conference on 17 May, as daily infections stood at 510 cases.
Currently, a curfew is imposed from 9pm to 6am. Schools, places of worship, restaurants, theatres, parks, beaches, and all places of activities that involve large gatherings are closed.
As of Sunday 24 May 2020, expected to be the first day of the three-day Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim feast that completes the holy month of Ramadan, new lockdown measures which attempt to reduce crowding will apply.
Eid prayer will not be held in mosques, these will remain closed. The prayer will be televised live on satellite channels.
During the period from 24 till 29 May, the Eid holiday, the nationwide curfew will be extended to begin at 5pm until 6am. All public transport, including regional inter-governorate train and bus service, will be suspended; and shops, malls, beaches, parks, public gardens and other recreational venues will all be closed.
Once the Eid is over, starting 30 May, the curfew will be shortened to the hours between 8pm to 6am for two weeks until mid-June. During that period, shops and malls will be allowed to open, but should close at 5pm.
As of mid-June, a return to normal life will start. Sports clubs and youth centres, as well as restaurants and coffee shops, all of which have been closed since last March, will be allowed to reopen.
On 21 June, Thanawiya Amma examinations will start, having been postponed from their original date of 7 June. Cautionary measures against COVID-19 will be mandatory, and the Ministry of Education will apply stringent health and safety measures.
Given urgent public demands to reopen places of worship, PM Madbouly said, the matter will be carefully considered by the government starting mid-June, in light of all possible cautionary measures.
Wearing facemasks will be mandatory starting 30 May in all public places and transport, with violators to face penalties. Factories will produce sufficient quantities of reusable masks.
18 May 2020