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Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Last Night’s Talk Shows on 3 November 2020

Topping the coverage of the talk shows: A new and so far inexplicable plan to regulate the opening times of shops, restaurants and cafes. Cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad appeared on Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 16:31) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 24: 48) to announce a new and altogether confusing new set of rules on what time shops and restaurants will be required to close. According to Saad, closing times will be determined by the time of year, where they are in the country, and what kind of services they provide. What this means in practice is that shops will have to close earlier in the winter months — unless they’re based in a governorate dependent on tourism or provide certain services such as groceries and medicine, in which case they have more flexibility over when they close.

When will shops have to close? Saad wasn’t very specific on this, saying that closing times in summer months will be between 11pm and 1am and 10pm and 12am in winter.

Why do we need more regulation in our lives? Saad said only that the move would allow people working on “local development” at night to do so in peace and quiet. Apparently we will learn more on Wednesday.

The tourism chamber is already up in arms: Adel Al Masry, the head of the Tourist Facilities and Restaurants Chamber, complained to El Hekaya’s Amr Adib that the tourism sector is already going through crisis, thanks to the pandemic and the government’s (very sensible) precautionary measures in tourist hotspots. Forcing businesses to close earlier could cause job cuts and further economic pain, he said (watch, runtime: 4:04).

In miscellany: Communications Minister Amr Talaat joined Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 6:29) and El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 5:37) to talk about the Digital Egypt Builders initiative, which aims to improve technical education. The program targets 1k people who graduated from engineering and IT faculties between 2016 and 2020, and will provide training in advanced technologies such as AI and robotics in addition to a curriculum offered by Ohio University to improve personal and English-language skills.

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