FILE - Egyptian families going for Nile cruising on Sham El-Nessim day - Egypt Today/Abdullah Salah
CAIRO – 15 April 2020: Amid fears of coronavirus spread, the Egyptian government directed the closure of all beaches, gardens, tourist villages and all the public facilities where people usually celebrate on Sham El-Nessim (spring holiday).
Furthermore, Governor of Daqahlia Ayman Mokhtar announced Wednesday the complete closure of the coastal city of Gamasa, the city of May 15, Sheikh Zayed, and the new Mansoura city, as of Wednesday and for 10 days, banning any citizens from travelling to the city.
“This decision comes out of our keenness to preserve the health of citizens amid the novel COVID-19 outbreak,” Mokhtar said in a statement, adding that they aim at preventing gatherings in the summer resort during Sham El-Nessim.
Also, Damietta Governor Manal Awad directed locking Ras El-Bar costal city down and banning any citizens from entering the governorate, unless they are residents.
Awad announced the suspension of the movement of ferries that link the cities of Ras al-Bar and Izbat al-Burj, as well as closing all public parks and gardens in the city for a week to reduce gatherings, as part of the preventive and precautionary measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus and maintain the safety of citizens.
Moreover, all hotels and tourist villages inside the cities of Marsa Matrouh, El-Dabaa and El-Alamein were notified with the necessity of abiding by the government's directions regarding banning public gatherings and sticking to the night-time curfew.
Governor of Marsa Matrouh Khaled Shoaib affirmed that he reviewed with the concerned authorities the closure plan for private and public beaches throughout Sham El-Nessim holiday, as well as closing all cafes and clubs.
Similar instructions were announced in Alexandria, Red Sea, Qalyubia, Minya and Aswan governorates.
Additionally, all sea cruises, safari yachts and private boats' movement were suspended in the Red Sea governorate as of Wednesday and until further notice, according to Red Sea Governor Amr Hanafi. Hanafi affirmed that all beaches, gardens and public places will also be shut down.
Cruises in the Nile River in Upper Egypt’s Minya and Aswan governorates were also suspended. Governor of Aswan Ashraf Attia announced suspending all Nile cruises, in the Nile or in Lake Nasser next Monday [which marks Sham el- Naseem holiday], along with tightening control over all parks and public facilities in all cities, especially the cities that have many tourist spots which usually witnesse high turnout during the holidays.
Attia also urged the hospitals to abide by the precautionary measures and curfew hours to protect its guests.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Local Development Khaled Kassem said in statements to Youm7 newspaper that the government’s orders are “very clear”.
“All governorates were notified to close all beaches, suspend its activities, abide by the curfew hours and prevent gatherings and celebrations,” Kassem said, adding that the instructions are firm, clear and strict and that people who breach the instructions will face legal punishment.”
Sham El-Nessim is an old spring festival celebrated by the Egyptians since 2,700 BC (the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom). This festival doesn’t have any religious background. Sham El-Nessim is usually a national holiday that comes after Easter, marking the beginning of spring.
You can know more about Egypt’s Sham El-Nessim holiday here:
CAIRO - 9 April 2018: Sham El-Nessim is an old spring festival celebrated by the Egyptians since 2,700 BC (the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom). This festival doesn't have any religious background. Sham El-Nessim is usually a national holiday, marking the beginning of spring and coming after Easter.
"On Tuesday, Egypt’s Health Ministry announced 160 new coronavirus cases, upping the total number of confirmed cases to 2350," Spokesman for the Health Ministry Khaled Megahed said.
He added that fourteen patients have died from the virus over the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 178.
A partial curfew in Egypt began on March 25 to last until April 23 as a protective measure against the spread of coronavirus among a bundle of rules that include decreasing the working hours of stores and shopping malls, and the closure of restaurants and cafes. The Egyptian Armed Forces sterilized Al-Azhar Street, Al-Hussein Square, and the area surrounding Al-Hussein Mosque.