An Egyptian minister says that the government has decided to postpone by one week the imposition of a curfew on shops and restaurants that had been intended to save energy and bring order to the street.

The curfew, which had been due to start on Saturday, sparked a broad backlash from businesses and the public. Few businesses will be exempted from the 10:00 p.m. closing time, including those with a tourism license and pharmacies.

Municipal Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen told private TV network Al-Hayat late Thursday that the plan will come into effect next week.

On Friday, the official Al-Ahram daily described Abdeen's remarks as a reflection of "confusion" in a government under pressure from business groups and merchants.