Covid-19 Update – January 2021
With the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19 in Egypt, the government has issued a number of decisions and adopted certain measures to prevent the spread of virus.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided a number of measures aiming at facilitating online transactions and reducing dealings with cash.
The CBE issued a circular on 28 December 2020 to extend the exemptions form the banking fees and commissions for a period of (6) months starting 1st January 2021. The exemption applies on the following:
- Local transfers in Egyptian Pounds.
- Transfers and payments via mobile phones or between mobile phones and bank accounts.
- Withdrawals from ATM machines.
- Issuance of Virtual Card Number (VCN).
- Issuance of “Contactless” cards.
- Contactless payments made by private sector traders.
The Prime Minister announced on 31 December 2020 the following measures in relation to the educational year 2020-2021:
- Postponement of the school and university exams which were scheduled to take place in January 2021.
- Commencing the winter break earlier as of 16 January until 20 February 2021.
- Resuming the academic year online with no physical attendance.
On 28 December, the Prime Minister has issued Decree No. 2701/2020 adopting certain precautionary measures to prevent gatherings in large numbers. The decided measures included the following:
- Banning New Year celebrations, events or festivals in gatherings whether in hotels, touristic places or elsewhere.
- Banning weddings parties, special occasions and gatherings in closed halls, tents, mosques and churches. Weddings and other occasions shall be held in open areas only with a limited number of guests and after taking the precautionary measures.
- Banning students’ gatherings for educational purposes in any places, centers or establishments not licensed by competent authorities.
- Emphasizing the importance of wearing face masks and obliging public places not to allow entrance of anyone who is not wearing a mask. Public places here includes all means of transportation, closed public places, open-air areas where social distancing is difficult to apply such as companies, governmental entities, houses of worship, malls, sporting clubs, hotels, theaters, cinemas, schools, universities, educational institutions…etc.
The following penalties will apply on violations of the above measures:
- A fine of EGP 150 on whoever is not wearing a mask in a public place and on any person who is in charge of applying the measures decided under the Decree.
- A fine of EGP 4,000 and/or imprisonment of no more than six months on responsible managers of hotels, touristic places or houses of worship who violate the provisions of the Decree.
- The violating establishment will also be exposed to administrative closure.