The headquarters of Egypt’s Press Syndicate in Cairo, Alexandria and other governates have been shut down for two weeks starting Tuesday 24 March amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The shutdown, which excludes the syndicate’s health care services, came in parallel with the state precautionary measures to curb the coronavirus spread.
Press Syndicate President Diaa Rashwan said in a Monday statement that the decision aims to protect Egyptian journalists and their families.
Rashwan added that all press institutions have to commit to the state’s policy and measures and to void public gatherings as much as possible.
The statement called on press institutions to reduce the attendance of journalists at their workplaces and setting shift schedules for attendance.
The decisions also include the need for disinfection efforts at all press institutions and the full commitment of paying journalists’ wages on time and rapidly paying any late dues.
The Egyptian government on Tuesday announced several strict measures to limit the outbreak of COVID-19, including a night-time curfew from 19:00 to 06:00. Authorities also halted all public and private transportation during curfew hours, suspended all state services except for the issuance of birth and death certificates, and limited restaurants and cafes for delivery services.
The government warned that violators of coronavirus curfew or cabinet directives will be penalised per Emergency Law, with penalties starting from fines of EGP 4,000 and imprisonment.