Ramadan is set to start on Friday, and with the coronavirus outbreak still ongoing, this year’s celebrations will be somewhat different. Below, Ahram Online lays out the details of the curfew, public gathering restrictions, and other measures and decisions that will affect the holy month.
- The government on Thursday extended the curfew for the second time. It now covers the thirty days of the month of Ramadan, but has been shortened to start at 9pm instead of the previous 8pm. It lifts at 6am each morning.
- Public transport will be operational from 6am to 9pm, every day of the week.
- All shops and malls (excluding entertainment or public gathering activities) will now be able to open on weekends, although they may only stay open until 5pm. Bakeries, groceries and pharmacies are exempt from the curfew measures.
- Restaurants are allowed to offer a takeout service until 9pm, in addition to delivery that is exempt from any limitations. Eating in is still prohibited, however.
- Worshippers will not be allowed to perform prayers at mosques like normal. This includes the special Ramadan Taraweeh prayers.
- The itikaf ritual, in which believers seclude themselves in mosques for an extended period, are also banned this year.
- The exceptional paid leave for public servants has been renewed for another two weeks, and state bodies will continue to work with the minimum number of employees.
- Important sectors like construction and industry will continue to be operational.
- Some government services that were suspended by the state will resume as of next week.
- Some registration services will be resumed next week.
- Courts will be allowed to hold inheritance hearings.
- The interior ministry will allow licensing of new vehicles only (not used vehicles) from next week, in a bid to re-activate the auto industry.
- The cabinet has said it is considering making other decisions concerning public services.
- Secondary school pupils and technical diploma and university students will find out the date of their final exams in the second half of Ramadan.