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Coronavirus

Egypt Has Lifted Many of the COVID-19 Restrictions

CAIRO — Egypt has lifted many of the restrictions put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic, reopening cafes, clubs, gyms and theaters after more than three months of closure. Authorities also allowed the reopening of mosques and churches.

The government has been eager to resuscitate the Egyptian economy, which was hit hard by the virus outbreak.

In Cairo, a sprawling and bustling metropolis of some 20 million people, coffee shops reopened Saturday to receive in-house customers for the first time since mid-March. But the smoking of “sheesha” from hookah waterpipes is no longer offered due to sanitary concerns.

Cafes have been allowed to reopen at only 25% seating capacity, according to Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly.

Mosques and churches will not be allowed to hold their weekly main services, when large crowds traditionally gather for worship. The government has banned Friday prayers at mosques and Sunday Masses at churches, Madbouly said.

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