Egypt to lift COVID-19 restrictions

Egypt will lift restrictions imposed to curb spread of coronavirus as of Tuesday.

Elad Benari ,

Coronavirus
Coronavirus
iStock

Egypt will lift restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including easing the early closure of shops and restaurants, as of Tuesday, the cabinet said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Since May 6, stores, malls and restaurants had to close by 9:00 p.m. after a rise in infections.

Egypt imposed strict measures at the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, closing its airspace and setting nightly curfews to combat the spread of the virus, but it has remained largely open since June 2020.

As part of its efforts to save the tourism sector, it completed vaccinating workers in all hotels in Southern Sinai and Red Sea provinces and plans to vaccinate all residents of the two resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheik, the cabinet said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Tourism, which is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, plunged by 70% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism usually accounts for up to 15% of gross domestic product.

Egypt had 260,659 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 15,001 deaths, as of Saturday. However, officials and experts say the real number of infections is far higher, but is not reflected in government figures because of low testing rates and the exclusion of private test results.

The country surpassed 50,000 cases of the virus in June, shortly after announcing plans to reopen its airports to scheduled international flights from July 1.

Egypt began its vaccination campaign in January after receiving its first shipment of vaccines developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).



top