World

Egypt to lift lockdown from Saturday

June 23, 2020
Closed shops in Cairo. — File photo
Closed shops in Cairo. — File photo

CAIRO — Egypt will lift its night curfew starting Saturday, according to a government official, as the country begins to ease restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Egypt will reopen restaurants, cafes, and places of worship from the end of the week but will keep some restrictions in place to limit crowding, the prime minister said on Tuesday, as new coronavirus cases continue to climb.

Restaurants and cafes will operate at 25% capacity and shut at 10 p.m. from Saturday, while mosques and churches will only be open for daily prayers, Mostafa Madbouly said.

Cinemas and theaters will also reopen at 25% capacity.

Beaches and parks will remain shut and public transport will be suspended from midnight until 4 a.m. The decisions to ease restrictions introduced three months ago could be revoked if people do not follow the rules still in place, Madbouly said.

Egypt has seen an acceleration of new coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with infections confirmed by the health ministry surging to 56,809, including 2,278 deaths.

As in other countries, many coronavirus cases are believed to go unreported. The higher education minister cited a study on June 1 estimating that the actual number of cases could be up to five times higher than the reported figure.

The government, which had imposed a night curfew but never a full lockdown, has been trying to limit the economic impact of the virus, telling citizens they will have to learn to live with the pandemic. — Agencies


June 23, 2020
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