Egypt to shut all cafes, malls, sports clubs in evenings till March 31

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt said on Thursday it would shut all cafes, shopping malls, sports clubs and nightclubs from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. local time every night until March 31, strengthening measures introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The government said supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and neighbourhood corner stores were exempt from the closure, which comes at a time when schools and universities are already shut.

The government has also moved to reduce the number of public sector workers reporting to work in an effort to discourage crowding and slow the spread of the disease.

Flights were grounded on Thursday by noon local time until the end of March with the exception of outward-bound flights needed by foreign tourists to leave on schedule.

The government had said that during the flight ban and school shutdown, hotels and all educational facilities would be sanitised.

Egypt has so far registered 210 cases of the new respiratory disease, including six deaths, but said that 40 people had recovered after receiving treatment.

(Reporting by Moamen Saeed Atallah; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Gareth Jones)