Photo via commons wikimedia /Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada
CAIRO – 29 June 2020: About 1400 restaurants across Egypt opened their doors for the first time in four months, this week, due to the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
The step comes following Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli announcements, June 23 for a bundle of measures - including the cancellation of the partial curfew - aimed at co-existing with COVID-19 that will went into effect on Saturday 27 June.
Madbouli announcements included:
- Restaurants and cafes will resume work with 25 percent capacity.
- Shisha will still be banned.
- Stores will close at 9 p.m. while restaurants and cafes will close at 10 p.m.
- Public parks and beaches will still be closed as crowdedness may be inevitable.
- Public transportation will operate between 4 a.m. and midnight.
- Worship places will be open for daily prayers but main prayers like Friday prayers and masses will be banned.
- Toilets and ceremonial halls at worship places will be closed.
- Cinemas, theaters, and entertainment venues will operate with 25 percent capacity.
- The gradual opening will always be reviewed as to either continue or re-impose restrictions based on data.
The tourism sector incited heavy losses during the last period as a result of the precautionary measures applied to confront the coronavirus in the country.
Joint inspection committees from the Chamber of Touristic Establishments and the Ministry of Health will begin the inspection of restaurants to check the extent of compliance with these procedures and impose penalties on violators.
The Chamber of Touristic Establishments confirmed that the prime minister promised to increase the percentage of future work to 100 percent if the facilities adhere to the procedures that the government has emphasized.
Adel al-Masry, head of the Hotel Establishments Chamber, said that all restaurants are committed to the 25-percent work system approved by the Council of Ministers.
He stressed that 90 percent of the tourist restaurants are ready to receive the inspection committees to obtain a health safety certificate, as they have used the past period to get prepared.
The health restrictions and requirements recently approved by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities included more than 28 items related to facility licensing, controls for workers, and others related to customers.
Among the most important restrictions is obtaining a health safety certificate from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the chamber as a precondition for allowing the establishment to work. In addition, the establishment manager should sign a statement of commitment to the regulations.
In case of violation of the controls, the facility manager's license will be revoked and the facility's activity will be suspended.