News Alerts

27 May 2020 | 05:23 PM UTC

Egypt: Face masks to be made compulsory on trains and metro from May 30 /update 24

Egypt News Alert

Face masks to be mandatory on trains and metro from May 30 due to COVID-19; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/27/2020, 10:59 PM (Africa/Cairo). COUNTRY/REGION Egypt

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Event

Official sources reported on Tuesday, May 26, that face masks will be made compulsory on trains and metros in Egypt from Saturday, May 30, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Reportedly, the National Railways Authority will not allow commuters to travel without a face mask, and those found traveling without one may be fined from Saturday. The government also stated that from May 30 those using any public or private transport, or entering public spaces, will be required to wear face masks. Several private and public establishments have already introduced this requirement for customers.

Egyptian officials had previously announced that the use of face masks would also be compulsory in banks nationwide beginning Sunday, May 17. The move followed reports that two Banque du Caire employees at the downtown Cairo branch tested positive for COVID-19.

On Tuesday, May 19, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly released a statement announcing that the suspension of all international passenger flights will be extended until further notice. Flights were originally suspended on Thursday, March 19.

Additionally, Madbouly stated that restrictions on movement are expected to remain in place until at least Saturday, June 13. The curfew between 20:00 and 06:00 (local time) will remain in place. As of May 30, malls and shopping centers will also reopen. From mid-June, the gradual reopening of sports clubs and restaurants may take place, and the reopening of places of worship will be considered by authorities.

As of Sunday, May 3, hotels have been permitted to progressively begin operations and accept domestic tourists, so long as they operate at 25 percent capacity or less through the month of May. Hotels are required to have in-house medical staff and conduct temperature screenings of guests, as well as install disinfection equipment. Beginning Monday, June 1, hotels may operate at a maximum 50 percent capacity. Other restrictions on events and gatherings apply.  

As of March 25, most public services and government offices are closed to the public during curfew hours. Shops and malls, with the exception of groceries, bakeries, and pharmacies, will only be permitted to open from 06:00 to 17:00 from Sunday through Thursday and must close on Fridays and Saturdays.

As of Wednesday, May 27, authorities have confirmed 18,756 cases of COVID-19 and 797 associated deaths in Egypt. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term. 

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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