Egypt allows shops, restaurants to open for extended hours starting Tuesday

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Jun 2021

A ban on weddings in closed halls, Mawalid, and funerals continues to be enforced, with wedding ceremonies only allowed in open spaces

Egyptians shopping. Reuters

Egypt will begin lifting some of its imposed coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, ending 9pm closure hours for commercial venues, which were imposed in May to combat a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.

Starting Tuesday, summer working hours of commercial shops and shopping malls will be from 7am to 11pm on weekdays and until midnight during weekends.

Coffee shops and restaurants can operate from 5am to 1am throughout the week.

A ban on weddings in closed halls, Mawalid, and funerals will remain in place with wedding ceremonies only allowed in open spaces.

Despite the easing of restrictions, the government stressed the importance of continued public adherence to all coronavirus preventive measures in significantly crowded public areas.

Shops found in violation of the restrictions will be immediately closed for two weeks and will be re-closed for a month for repeat offenders.

On Monday, Egypt detected 984 new coronavirus cases, the first time the daily infection toll registered below 1,000 cases since 27 April.

Monday’s infections tally brings the total cases nationwide to 262,650 since the outbreak last year, including 15,096 fatalities.

Egypt began vaccinating priority groups in March under a wider rollout of the vaccination program after it began the vaccination of the country’s medical staff in January.

The government is seeking to secure vaccines for its 100 million strong population, as it continues to expand its immunisation program.

Its current supply of AstraZeneca and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines, which are administered in the overpopulous country, has now reached 5 million.

Several deliveries are expected to follow in June, according to officials.

Egypt has also contracted to receive 40 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The country aims to manufacture some vaccines locally for exporting, including the Chinese Sinovac and Sputnik V vaccines.

Some 2.1 million citizens have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to officials, with the government hoping to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by the end of the year.

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