Egypt has ordered all tourism staff at resorts in the Red Sea governorate to be placed under quarantine until tests show they do not have the coronavirus, as part of broader government measures to combat the spread of the virus.
"All staff at tourist facilities… are banned from leaving for 14 days starting today or from the date of the departure of the last tourist from the governorate, and should be placed under quarantine," read a decision issued on Monday by provincial Governor Amr Helmy.
The decision also bans the entry of domestic tourists for 14 days from the day of the departure of the last tourist.
The move is intended to ensure the safety of Egyptians and tourists and prevent the speared of the virus, as a flight suspension from Thursday till the end of the month will mean that staff members might choose to leave and return to their hometowns.
During the quarantine period, all tourism sites, hotels, restaurants and government offices in the governorate will be sanitised.
The decision also mandates hotels and other tourist facilities to perform periodic checkups for staff and report any symptomatic staff members.
Egypt now has 166 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including four deaths. The country reported earlier this month the first death of a 60-year-old German tourist who had travelled to Luxor before dying in a hospital in the Red Sea city of Hurghada.
Egypt's Red Sea governorate is home to a number of popular winter sun destinations like the capital Hurghada, Marsa Allam and Safaga.
Egypt has stepped up preventive measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, suspending air traffic at all its airports and announcing it would reduce the presence of public sector employees.
The country has also closed schools and universities for two weeks and allocated an EGP 100 billion fund to finance a "comprehensive" plan to stop the spread of the virus.