Egypt sets shop opening hours as second coronavirus wave approaches

Egypt sets shop opening hours as second coronavirus wave approaches
Men in protective masks wait for the train at a metro station in Cairo. (Reuters)
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Updated 23 November 2020

Egypt sets shop opening hours as second coronavirus wave approaches

Egypt sets shop opening hours as second coronavirus wave approaches
  • Restaurants, cafes, and bazaars, including those in shopping malls, will open at 5:00 a.m. and close at 1:00 a.m. in summer and midnight in winter

CAIRO: In preparation for the expected second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Egyptian government has announced new opening hours for shops, restaurants, cafes, and workshops and handicrafts shops.
The changes will come into effect from Dec. 1.
The government said that the new times were part of its continued efforts to achieve stability, prevent chaos, maintain the state’s infrastructure, preserve the people’s health and safety and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Minister of Local Development General Mahmoud Shaarawy spoke of the many benefits of this ruling, which was approved by the Supreme Committee for Public Shop Licensing, including saving energy, regulating working hours, allowing local authorities to remove garbage and keep Egyptian streets clean across the country.
General Shaarawy said that shops and malls, excluding restaurants, cafes, and bazaars, will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 11:00 p.m. daily during the summer, and at 10:00 p.m. in winter. He said that they will close at midnight in summer and 11:00 p.m. in winter on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as on official holidays.
Restaurants, cafes, and bazaars, including those in shopping malls, will open at 5:00 a.m. and close at 1:00 a.m. in summer and midnight in winter. He added that during winter times will be extended on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as on official holidays, so these establishments will close at 1:00 a.m. He said that home delivery services of cafes and restaurants will be available 24 hours all year round.
The minister said that the opening hours for workshops and handicrafts shops in populated areas will be daily from 8:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. in summer, and from 6:00 a.m. in winter. He underlined that these hours exclude service establishments such as gas stations, which will be covered by a regulation to be issued by the chairman of the Supreme Committee for Public Shop Licensing. The opening hours for workshops and handicrafts shops inside populated areas may be amended if needed.
Coronavirus cases have surged again in Egypt following a decline during the summer.


UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks
Updated 14 min 3 sec ago

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks
  • The foreigners are families of jihadists from the Daesh group

BEIRUT: Twelve murders have taken place at a displaced camp in northeast Syria in just over two weeks, the UN said Thursday, sounding the alarm over an “increasingly untenable” security situation.
Held by Kurdish forces, Al-Hol camp — Syria’s biggest — holds almost 62,000 people, of whom more than 80 percent are women and children, including Syrians, Iraqis and thousands from as far afield as Europe and Asia.
The foreigners are families of jihadists from the Daesh group, which seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The Iraqi and Syrian residents of the camp largely fled subsequent fighting between Daesh and Kurdish forces.
“Between 1 and 16 January, the UN received reports of the murders of 12 Syrian and Iraqi camp residents,” said the UN statement, adding that an Iraqi woman was among those killed.
“The disturbing events indicate an increasingly untenable security environment at Al-Hol,” it added.
The camp had already witnessed several security incidents in recent months, sometimes involving Daesh supporters.
These have included escape attempts and attacks against guards or staff employed by NGOs, sometimes with knives, other times with firearms.
The UN statement published on Thursday said that Imran Riza, its Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, and Muhannad Hadi, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, expressed their “serious concern over the deteriorating security conditions” at the camp.
The two UN officials also stressed the “urgent need for durable solutions to be found for every person living in the camp.”
Since the fall of IS’ self-proclaimed caliphate in March 2019 after a US-backed Kurdish offensive in eastern Syria, Kurdish authorities have repeatedly demanded that countries repatriate women and children.
But most countries, especially European nations, are reluctant to take back their citizens. Some, including France, have brought home a limited number of French jihadists and children.
“The recent rise in violence... jeopardizes the ability for the UN and humanitarian partners to continue to safely deliver critical humanitarian assistance,” the UN statement added.
Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011 after the violent repression of protests, quickly spiralling into a multi fronted conflict that pulled in numerous actors, including jihadist groups and foreign powers.