Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Sharawi has ordered that all beaches are to close starting Saturday until further notice. The move comes as part of state efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
The decision comes after videos and photos circulated on social media showing citizens gathering at beaches in Alexandria, Ain Sokhna, and other governorates, the minister said.
Amr Hanafi, Governor of the Red Sea, ordered all beaches closed following the congestion at some Red Sea beaches on Friday. Hanafi urged citizens to stay home, adding that the closures are for health and safety reasons.
Alexandria Governor Major General Mohamed Al-Sharif shut down the city’s beaches on Friday after some residents headed to beaches despite calls to stay at home.
Jamal Rashad, head of Alexandria’s Central Administration for Tourism and Resorts, expressed his surprise in televised statements on Friday that some residents headed to beaches. The congestion at beaches comes in spite of state instructions to practice social distancing and avoid public gatherings.
The Health Ministry announced on Friday 41 new coronavirus infections, including six deaths, bringing the country’s total to 536 infections and 30 deaths.
Last week, the government announced a two-week night-time curfew from 19:00 to 06:00, with all public and private transportation halted during curfew.
All commercial shops are to close daily from 17:00 to 6:00, with all-day closures on Friday and Saturday as part of state efforts to limit public gatherings and curb the spread of coronavirus. Pharmacies, bakeries, and grocery shops are excluded from the closures.