Last Update 16:59
Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Egypt reopens 144 restaurants, cafes after granting hygiene safety certificates

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Jun 2020
People sit in a cafe after months of lockdown, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cairo, Egypt, June 27, 2020. REUTERS
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Egyptian authorities have granted hygiene safety certificates to 144 restaurants and cafes across Egypt, which will allow them to operate amid the coronavirus epidemic, the country's tourism ministry announced on Sunday.

Starting this week, Egypt is allowing restaurants and cafes to reopen at a reduced capacity of 25 percent and under strict hygiene and safety restrictions, in what the government has said is the first stage of reopening. They are now allowed to open until 10pm after the country's nightly curfew was lifted two days ago.

The hygiene instructions announced by the ministry suggest that restaurants and cafes reduce crowding by having customers pre-book and use online payment services.

Under the new rules, customers must have their temperature measured before entering cafes and restaurants.

Tables must be set at a minimum of two metres apart, with one metre between each person at the same table. No more than six individuals are allowed to sit at one table.

A safe distance must also be kept between people awaiting takeaway services, and single-use dining utensils should be used as much as possible.

Cafes and restaurants must also provide sanitisers.

Open buffets, shishas, special parties, and children’s areas are not allowed during the first phase.

Each workplace must operate at a reduced capacity of 50 percent of employees, all of whom must wear facemasks during operating hours. Workers who show coronavirus symptoms must not be allowed on the premises.

Assistant to the minister of tourism and antiquities Abdel-Fattah El-Assi said that specialised committees have been conducting inspection tours at all recently reopened tourist institutions to ensure all precautions are being met.

Over 230 hotels across the country had earlier received the health safety certificate required for reoperation, but two of the hotels had their licences revoked due to non-compliance with the instructions determined by the tourism ministry.

On Saturday, a wide range of restrictions, most in place since March, were lifted as part of a government move to reopen the economy. Sporting clubs and religious venues across the country have been included in the reopening plan.

As of 1 July, Egypt will start receiving tourists after three months of flight suspension due to the pandemic. However, only three coastal governorates are allowed to receive tourists: South Sinai, where the popular seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is located; the Red Sea governorate, home to the city of Hurghada; and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean Sea.

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