Egypt resumes Luxor's hot air balloon trips after six-month suspension owing to coronavirus

Ahram Online , Monday 12 Oct 2020

Luxor, home to a myriad of ancient sites, is a major destination for tourists, with early morning balloon rides over the city a popular attraction

File Photo: In this picture taken from a balloon Friday, April 1, 2016, the Nile River is partially shrouded in early morning clouds in Luxor, Egypt. AP

Egypt has resumed on Monday hot air balloon trips in its tourist hotspot Luxor after more than a six-month suspension over the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahmed Abboud, the head of a local hot air balloon operator, said operators have received a notice to resumpe the trips under strict preventive measures, including disinfection, a 50 percent capacity, and social distancing.

Early morning air balloon rides over the city are a popular attraction.

Egypt began a gradual resumption of regular international flights since 1 July with countries that have reopened their airports in the hope they will boost its coronavirus-hit tourism sector, an essential source of foreign currency.

Foreign tourists in tour groups have been allowed entry into Matrouh, the Red Sea, and South Sinai, the three coastal Egyptian governorates with the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country.

Egypt has required travellers arriving in the country to present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) lab test result certificate for the coronavirus starting 1 September.

However, travellers entering Egypt at any of its four airports in the Red Sea and South Sinai can take a coronavirus test upon arrival. 

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