On Tuesday, May 19, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly released a statement announcing that the suspension of all international passenger flights to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be extended until further notice. Flights were originally suspended on Thursday, March 19.
Authorities have announced that COVID-19 restrictions will be tightened between Sunday, May 24, and Friday, May 29, to coincide with Eid al-Fitr. The current curfew will be expanded to begin at 17:00 until 06:00 (local time). All public transport will also be suspended during this period. Shops, restaurants, and public spaces such as parks and beaches will also be closed. Additionally, Madbouly stated that restrictions on movement are expected to remain in place until at least Saturday, June 13. The curfew will continue after the conclusion of Eid; however, it will revert to between 20:00 and 06:00. From Saturday, May 30, those using public or private transport, or entering public spaces, will be required to wear face masks. 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.
Egyptian authorities announced on Wednesday, May 13, that mosques will remain closed as the end of Ramadan approaches, despite the tradition of in-mosque Itikaf prayers during the last ten days of the holy month.
Egyptian officials announced on Monday, May 11, that the use of face masks will be compulsory in banks nationwide beginning Sunday, May 17. The move follows reports that two Banque du Caire employees at the downtown Cairo branch tested positive for COVID-19.
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 May 19, authorities have confirmed 12,764 COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 645 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected.
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.
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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