Egypt permanently shortens working hours of cafes, shops

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Jun 2020

City Stars Mall
Cairo's City Stars Mall (Photo: City Stars' Facebook page)

A new government rule that requires shops and malls to close at 9pm and restaurants and cafes to close at 10pm is a permanent decision and will not be changed after the coronavirus pandemic, said a cabinet spokesman on Tuesday.

“The decision to regulate the working hours of cafes and restaurants is an organisational decision and Egypt is heading to having those hours as official working hours, like in the United States and Europe,” Nader Saad told DMC TV channel on Tuesday night.

The decision about closing times of shops, restaurants and cafes will vary between summer and winter, Saad also said, adding that working hours would be extended in touristic governorates.

“The decision to close the cafes at 10pm is final,” he said, adding that the decision regulates the working hours of shops and conserves energy.

“Sitting at a cafe after 10pm won’t yield any productivity for the state,” he said.

Prior to a nightly curfew put in place in March due to the pandemic, some restaurants and cafes were open 24 hours, while many others would remain open until at least midnight.

Shops were also commonly open until late at night.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced the easing of precautionary coronavirus measures from Saturday.

The curfew, currently set at 8pm, will be lifted, and restaurants, cafes and non-essential shops will be allowed to open until 10pm with a 25 percent capacity.

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