Egypt's Red Sea resorts prepare to reopen following lockdown
The government is allowing hotels to reopen starting from 15 May, but at a low capacity and only for domestic tourism.
Hotels can only open after they obtain a safety certificate granted by the ministries of health and tourism, and even then will be allowed to host guests at only 25% capacity.
Ahmed al-Waseef, the head of Egyptian Tourism Federation said: "We are ready, we are ready to open in a safe environment, branding hygiene-safety certificate, together with the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health.
"All those regulations are set to really put a standard where by we show the importance of safety to our visitors," he added.
Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Enany said he had visited various hotels and resorts to inspect their readiness for reopening and discuss the details of the new guidelines.
In response to the coronavirus, a lockdown was imposed by the Egyptian government on four major tourist cities, bringing the industry which accounts for some 12% of Egypt's GDP, to a halt.
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The industry has welcomed the reopening, albeit limited.
Maged Fawzy, chairman of The Egyptian Hotel Association said of the lockdown: "The [sector] was shocked because it all happened in a very short period, hotels closed all of a sudden and of course, the sector was very negatively impacted, as well as on the investors because they had to shift from very high occupancy to a lull."
"This 'lockdown' paralaysed the sector completely," he added.
The country's initial outbreak occureed among tourists and staff on a Nile cruise ship operating in Luxor, the destination of millions of tourists every year.
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