Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday the country will exercise “zero tolerance” against people who fail to adhere to preventive measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus infections are currently increasing in Egypt.
According to a cabinet statement, Madbouly ordered relevant authorities to fine violators of preventive measures, mainly wearing face masks, among other measures.
He said infections are on an upward curve, urging citizens to adhere to the restrictions to avoid “unnecessary difficult scenarios.”
Madbouly said commercial, sports and tourism facilities that fail to commit to the preventive measures will be shut down.
Egypt has made wearing face masks in public places mandatory since 30 May, with violators facing hefty fines of up to EGP 4,000. However, most people in the country have not been adhering to the mask regulations, especially with the decline in reported infections over the past three months.
This is the second warning by the government this week as the general public have been showing a relaxed enforcement of the preventive measures since a drop in coronavirus cases had been recorded in the past few months.
Madbouly said during a meeting on Monday with the higher committee tasked with managing the crisis of the pandemic that many citizens have not been complying with anti-coronavirus safety measures despite continued warnings from the authorities.
He warned that previous tough restrictions could be reinstated if non-compliance persists.
In October, Health Minister Zayed said Egypt will not be reinstating a full or partial lockdown if coronavirus infections surge once again, but instead will be responding to surges in cases within localised population clusters.
Egypt began the move towards a gradual reopening of its economy in June, easing the pandemic-related restrictions, including lifting a night-time curfew, reopening restaurants and places of worship, and resuming regular international flights as part of its plans to coexist with the virus.
Although the reported infection rate has been low since August, the government has repeatedly urged caution to avoid a potential second wave of the pandemic, particularly with the advent of autumn and the beginning of the new academic year.