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Egypt tightens coronavirus restrictions for Eid holiday

An Egyptian municipality worker disinfects the area around the 3,200-year-old pink-granite colossal statue of King Ramses II, as a protective measure against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), at the entrance of the the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is currently under construction, in Giza on the southwestern outskirts of the capital Cairo on April 13, 2020. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
An Egyptian municipality worker disinfects the area around the 3,200-year-old pink-granite colossal statue of King Ramses II, as a protective measure against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), at the entrance of the the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is currently under construction, in Giza on the southwestern outskirts of the capital Cairo on April 13, 2020. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt will bring forward the start of its curfew by four hours to 5 p.m. and halt public transport from May 24 for six days during the Eid holiday, as it seeks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister said on Sunday, Reuters reports.

Shops, restaurants, parks and beaches will be closed for the extended holiday at the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, and restrictions on citizens’ movements will remain in place for at least two weeks afterwards, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said.

Egypt has reported 11,719 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 612 deaths. Daily increases in the number of cases have been rising as the government slightly eased a night curfew and other measures. The number of cases rose by 491 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said.

Madbouly indicated that there could be a gradual reopening of some activities including sports clubs and restaurants from mid-June, and that a reopening of places of worship would also be considered.

After Eid, the curfew will last from 8pm-6am, as it did before Ramadan.

Anyone entering enclosed spaces with other citizens or taking public transport will be required to wear a mask, and the government was working on producing washable masks for general use, Madbouly said.

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