Cairo governorate has set new opening and closing hours for shops, cafes and other commercial venues located in the capital, which will go into force starting 1 December, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal announced.
The step aims to achieve discipline and reduce crowding in the capital's streets amid the coronavirus pandemic, Abdel-Aal said.
According to the new decision, Cairo's commercial shops and centres will be allowed to operate from 7am to 11pm in the summer and from 7am till 10pm in the winter, while bazaars and restaurants will be open from 5am to 1am in the summer and from 5am to 12am in the winter.
Concerning the working hours of workshops and crafts centres located inside residential areas, they will operate from 8am to 7pm in the summer and 8am to 6pm in the winter.
On Thursdays and Fridays, commercial shops and centres will be allowed open at 7am till 12am in the summer and 7am till 11pm in the winter, while restaurants, cafes, and bazaars will be allowed to operate from 5am, till 1am throughout the year.
For years, the government had floated the idea of imposing closing hours on shops without much success, as the decision had always been met with strong opposition.
Only this year, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, did the government impose strict closing hours as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus. Commercial and entertainment venues in Egypt have been allowed to operate at specific times.
The country's Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawi, who submitted the proposal to the cabinet, said the move will help the state put a limit on the state of disarray of streets, traffic congestion, crowding and road obstructions in some areas.
He added that the measure will help preserve citizens’ public health and reduce noise and disturbance as well as preserve public facilities and infrastructure.