Egypt to suspend public transport, close shops, parks on Sham El-Nessim holiday

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 Apr 2020

Mostafa Madbouly
Egypt Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (Photo: Ahram)

Egyptian authorities will suspend all public transport on Monday, the date of the traditional Sham El-Nessim holiday, in a bid to stop any possible gatherings that could spread the coronavirus.

The decision will see the shutting down of buses, railways, the Cairo metro, and Nile transport, in addition to regional coach services between different parts of the country, and to beach resorts.

All shops, malls, beaches, and public parks and gardens will be completely closed.

Egyptians usually mark the Sham El-Nessim spring holiday with picnics in parks or other outdoor excursions.

"What is applicable to the weekend during the curfew period applies to this traditional holiday, including closing shops, malls, public parks, gardens, beaches and all other entertainment venues," Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said at a televised press briefing on Thursday.

The country is under national curfew every day from 8pm to 6am. On weekend days, shops are closed, except for pharmacies, grocery stores and bakeries.

There have been “a great deal of infections due to large gatherings during special occasions," in other countries, he noted.

The "tough" measures aim at preserving citizens’ health given that we have noticed crowding in some areas during recent days, he added.

The prime minister said that movement in major roads, especially the corniches in Cairo and in coastal cities, will be under the control of the authorities to prevent any possible crowding.

During a meeting with the country's governors on Wednesday, Mabdouly instructed authorities to “deter any attempt to violate the decisions with the utmost force."

Other measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus include shutting mosques and churches and closing schools and universities.

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