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Egypt to suspend local tourism, quarantine workers at hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh

The decision comes two days after similar measures were announced in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Mar 2020
File photo: Tourists are seen on a beach in the Aqaba Gulf on the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh
File photo: Tourists are seen on a beach in the Aqaba Gulf on the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh (Reuters)
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Egypt will not receive local tourist groups in its popular Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh for 14 days, and will place all tourism workers there under quarantine at hotels, the provincial governor said.

The decision, issued Wednesday, applies to all cities in the South Sinai governorate, where the seaside resorts of Sharm El-Shiekh, Ras Sedr, Dahab and Nuweiba are located.

"Workers in the tourism sector (hotels, attractions, etc) will not be allowed to leave the governorate for 14 days as of today," the South Sinai governor's office said on Wednesday.
They will be placed under quarantine during that period.

The governorate "will not receive domestic tourists for 14 days starting Thursday," it added.

The move comes two days after similar measures were announced in the popular winter sun destination of Hurghada and other cities in the Red Sea governorate.

Hotels in South Sinai are instructed to cancel all reservations made during the quarantine period.

During the closure, hotel operators are required to sanitise their facilities on a daily basis. Government offices, mosques and churches will also be regularly sanitised.

The governor's office also instructed security forces to tighten control on all checkpoints in cities across the governorate.

Egypt's Health Minister Hala Zayed said Wednesday that tourism workers in the ancient cities of Luxor, the source of an outbreak on a Nile cruise ship, and Aswan have been placed under 14-day quarantine at their workplace since Monday in a bid to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Egypt has 196 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and six deaths, including three foreigners.

Egypt has stepped up measures to combat the spread of the flue-like virus, temporarily suspending air traffic at all its airports, shutting schools and universities and halting all sports events.

The country has also allocated a 100 billion Egyptian pound ($6.3 billion) fund to finance a "comprehensive" government plan to stop the spread of the virus.

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