Minister orders governors to enforce new closing times for shops, restaurants in Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Dec 2020

Officials say the move will help the government ease traffic congestion, crowding, and road obstructions in some areas, in addition to saving energy

Shops
A Woman shops at a supermarket in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy has ordered governors to enforce new closing times for commercial shops “firmly” starting Tuesday, with legal measures to be taken against violators.

In an official statement on Tuesday, Shaarawy urged governors to coordinate with security directorates and municipal authorities to ensure the implementation of the new closing hours.

The new closing hours for shops, malls, workshops, restaurants, and cafes in Egypt come into force on Tuesday as per the decision announced by the Egyptian government earlier this week.

According to the new government decision, commercial shops and malls will be allowed to operate from 7am to 10pm in the winter, ending an hour later at 11pm in the summer.

The decision set longer hours for bazaars and restaurants to operate in from 5am to 12am in the winter, and till 1am in the summer.

Delivery and take-away services at restaurants and cafes will still be allowed to operate 24/7 throughout the year, however.

Workshops and crafts centres located inside residential areas will operate from 8am to 6pm in the winter, and till 7pm in the Summer.

Other stores like greengrocers, supermarkets, bakeries, poultry shops, wholesale markets, and pharmacies are excluded from the new operating hours, giving them the chance to pursue their activities overnight.

Summer in Egypt starts as of the last Friday in April, while Winter starts after the last Thursday in September, according to the government decision.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the government imposed strict closing and opening hours for commercial outlets and entertainment venues as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Officials say the move will help the government ease traffic congestion, crowding, and road obstructions in some areas, in addition to saving energy consumption.

The measure will help preserve citizens’ public health, and reduce noise and disturbances, as well as preserve public facilities and infrastructure, according to officials.

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