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Coronavirus

Egypt to Open Mosques but Keep Friday Prayer Ban

CAIRO – Egypt is gradually loosening its partial coronavirus lockdown amid a steady increase of daily infections in recent weeks.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly said Tuesday that his government would reopen mosques and churches starting Saturday and the ban on Friday’s Muslim prayers at mosques and Sunday’s masses at churches would remain in place for now.

He says restaurants, coffee shops, clubs and theaters will allowed to reopen at 25% capacity. The government has also extended the hours public and private transposition can operate by four hours, until midnight. It also lifted the country's nighttime curfew.

Madbouky says Egypt's beaches and parks remain closed until further notice.

The gradual reopening was announced as the the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Egypt has often surpassed 1,000 in recent weeks.

The Arab world’s most populous country has officially reported around 57,000 confirmed cases, including at least 2,278 deaths.

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