Hotels in Egypt reopen to domestic guests with strict rules

Egypt is allowing hotels to reopen for domestic tourists on condition they operate at no more than 25 per cent capacity until the end of May and implement a range of other health measures to guard against the new coronavirus, the cabinet said on Sunday.

The virus has shut down Egypt’s tourist sector, which accounts for 12 to 15 per cent of gross domestic product, leading to losses estimated at $1 billion per month. The government has suspended international passenger flights and closed hotels, restaurants and cafes, as well as imposed a night curfew. For hotels to resume operations they must have a clinic with a resident doctor, regular screen temperatures and install disinfection equipment, the cabinet said in a statement. Guests must be registered online and workers have to undergo rapid coronavirus tests when entering resorts, while a hotel floor or small building must be assigned as a quarantine area for positive or suspected coronavirus cases. At the same time, resorts are not permitted to host weddings or parties, organize entertainment activities and offer open buffets. In addition to that, the cabinet said hotels will be allowed to work with a maximum 50 per cent capacity from June 1.