The Egyptian cabinet announced on 31 December the suspension of in-person classes in schools and universities across the Egypt for the remainder of the current semester starting Saturday, 2 January. It further announced the postponing of all in-person exams to be held in late February after the mid-year vacation.
These measures come in the wake of a decision from the Ministry of Education to make class attendance optional on the 20th of December.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly also stressed that the decision to reduce the number of employees in government bodies and ministries is to be followed strictly, and that there had been complaints about health concerns at government workplaces.
These decisions all come as a part of series of government decisions to curb the rise in coronavirus cases. While anecdotal evidence suggests an exponential rise, official cases on December 31 reached 1418, and deaths linked officially with COVID-19 were at 55. This brings Egypt’s total tally of coronavirus cases to 138,062 and related deaths to 7631.
Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait, recently announced that the Ministry officially signed contracts to receive 20 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
All New Year’s Eve celebrations were banned across the country, including any large gatherings such as weddings, parties or funerals. The Prime Minister emphasized that there would be severe and instant consequences for any lack of adherence.
The government ordered the complete closure of event halls, and that hotels should specify a limited number of people in open air only for any wedding event.
The government announced that it is imposing a EGP 50 (USD 3) fine for those who choose to not wear masks in public, and in case it is not paid, the case will be taken to the prosecution to take necessary action.
All restaurants and cafes should work at a 50 percent capacity, and in the case of violation, there will be a EGP 4,000 fine and will be forced to close for a whole week.