During a televised press conference held yesterday afternoon, the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced that several new measures will be instituted to combat thecoronavirus outbreak in Egypt. These measures will be in place for an additional two weeks to the period previously announced.
Suspension of Government Services
All non-essential government services, with the exception of a few, have been suspended. The offices responsible for registering births and deaths remain open. However, visa and residency permit services in Abbasiya are now closed. Visas that were set to expire during this period will be automatically extended and will not expire until after the two weeks have passed. While courts were previously open for administrative tasks, they will now also be completely closed. Similarly, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, GAFI, will not be open to the public.
Closure of Food and Entertainment Establishments
Supermarkets and grocery stores remain open to the public while restaurants and cafes will only be permitted to run delivery services. All other entertainment venues, including clubs, sports facilities, and cinemas will be closed.
Reduced Hours for Commercial Enterprises
Malls and stores must be closed from 5:00 PM to 6:00 AM on weekdays (Sunday – Thursday) and will be closed completely on Fridays and Saturdays.
Extension of Flight Ban
The flight ban, originally scheduled to end on March 31st, will be
extended for an additional two weeks from that date. Commercial flights will not resume before 15th April. However,
some commercial airlines, notably Swiss Airlines, EgyptAir, and Air France are facilitating flights for expat tourists and employees who wish to return home. It is advised that foreign employees contact their local embassies for assistance. It may be possible to deduct the days spent abroad from their paid annual leave.
The government has imposed a curfew from 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Employers should note that public transportation will also be suspended during the curfew period. Employers should take measures to ensure that employees will be able to reach work and return home before the curfew goes into effect.
Egypt is activating Emergency Law provisions to deter citizens and residents from violating the curfew. Under Emergency Law provisions, habeas corpus is suspended, and the authorities will have the ability to stop and seize citizens as they see fit. Violators can be subject to fine amounting to EGP 4,000 and/or imprisonment, subject to the discretion of the arresting officer.