Egypt's tourism ministry said Sunday that the number of hotels allowed to reopen under the country's anti-coronavirus measures has risen to 687 in 23 governorates, having received the required hygiene safety certificates required to re-operate.
Up to 20 hotels in seven governorates have been granted hygiene safety certificates over the past two weeks, according to a ministry statement, cited by a state TV website.
The new operational hotels are located in South Sinai, the Red Sea, Luxor, Ismailia, Greater Cairo, Matrouh and Fayoum.
Since June, Egypt allowed hotels to operate — after three months of lockdown — albeit at reduced occupancy rates of 50 percent, and deploying a range of hygiene procedures, including regular disinfection.
Hotel services in Egypt had been closed to the public since international flights were suspended in March, along with other drastic measures put in place to contain the pandemic.
Egypt resumed regular international flights at all Egyptian airports in July, with foreign tourists allowed into three coastal governorates as part of tour groups, to help offset the vital sector’s losses amid the pandemic. Egypt since September requires travellers to present PCR certificates upon departure and arrival.
The areas open for foreign tourists are South Sinai, where the popular seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is located, the Red Sea governorate, home to the city of Hurghada, and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean.
The tourism sector is an essential source of foreign currency for the country.
The ministry added in its statement that it is inspecting requests submitted by other hotels wishing to receive the hygiene certificate required for reopening.
On Saturday, the ministry announced operational floating hotels in Egypt have increased to 43 hotels after granting 28 new flotels in Cairo, Aswan, Luxor the required hygiene safety certificates last week.
The floating hotels were allowed to resume their Nile cruises since the beginning of October, with only 50 percent of their workforces in accordance with health regulations.