Egypt sets rules for reopening restaurants and cafes during coronavirus

Egypt’s Local Development Ministry on Wednesday approved conditions and guidelines for the process of reopening licensed restaurants and cafes, which will begin on Saturday.

Restaurants will be allowed to operate until 10 pm every day of the week.

Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy instructed governors across the country to implement the decisions of the Supreme Ministerial Committee for Coronavirus Crisis Management and to refuse to compromise with any facilities that violate the requirements.

The requirements include that the facility manager sign a declaration of commitment to the operating guidelines, Shaarawy said. He added that in the event of a violation, the director’s license will be revoked and the facility’s activity will be suspended.

Shaarawy explained that restaurants must operate at 25 percent capacity until further notice, and will be obliged to maintain social distancing.

The Minister said restaurants must leave a distance of no less than two meters between dining tables, and one meter between each person at a single table, with a maximum of six people to a table.

Elevators, if present, must be operated at 50 percent capacity, and children’s play areas will remain closed.

Shaarawy stressed the necessity of prohibiting parties, special events and any large gatherings. He also instructed restaurants to place signs at the entrance of the facility warning those who have symptoms of coronavirus not to enter.

He also pointed out the need to provide hand sanitizer at the entrance to the facility, and to suspend buffet service.

Shaarawy emphasized that there is still an ongoing ban on serving Shisha in cafes and restaurants.

He also stressed the importance of removing tablecloths from dining tables and replacing them with one-use covers.

The Minister said that restaurants should employ single-use food tools and provide moist towelettes on dining tables. They should also place stickers on the facility’s floors to organize social-distancing-appropriate waiting places in front of toilets and elevators.

Shaarawy stressed the importance of sterilizing the bathrooms between each use and cleaning furniture and fabrics regularly using disinfectant materials approved by the Ministry of Health and Population.

Regarding the measures that must be met by workers in those facilities, Shaarawy said that worker’s temperatures will be taken daily, and the Ministry of Health and Population will be notified if any case is discovered. The facilities also have to provide personal protection tools for workers and sterilization materials.

The Minister said that employees must wear face masks during working hours, that those suffering from symptoms should remain home, and that workers should be provided with all information related to coronavirus and to the preventive measures.

Regarding the requirements to be followed by the customers, Shaarawy pointed out the importance of reducing crowding at the facility’s entrance by setting up a mechanism to manage the waiting list by pre-booking using electronic applications, a phone call, or by any other means.

The minister also called for the necessity of providing thermal scanning to take guests’ temperatures, pointing out the importance of applying the rules of social distancing.

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