Egypt's Red Sea detects first coronavirus case among visitors after gradual return of domestic tourism

Ahram Online , Sunday 31 May 2020

Governor Amr Hanafy said Saturday that a Covid-19 case was detected in one tourist hub resort after the resumption of limited operations

Red Sea
A worker disinfects a sunbed at an Egyptian beach resort under preventive measures against the coronavirus pandemic (Photo Courtesy of Tourism and Antiquities Ministry)

Egypt’s Red Sea governorate has detected its first coronavirus case among visitors after a gradual return of domestic tourism, Governor Amr Hanafy has said.

In a phone interview with state television Saturday evening, Hanafy that a case was detected in one resort after the resumption of operations.

The case was isolated, Hanafy said, adding that the detected case is one among 2,000 visitors at hotels that have reopened their doors to receive visitors at limited occupancy amid the pandemic outbreak.

Hanafy added that the case was detected in a hotel with a lower occupancy rate in comparison to others.

He said 41 hotels have received certificates for reopening, on the basis of remaining below 25 percent occupancy as stipulated by the Ministry of Tourism.

Hanafy declined to provide further details on the detected case. However, several media reports quoted sources as saying that the case was of a 40-year-old woman who showed symptoms of the virus inside a hotel in Hurghada.

Egypt has allowed a limited number of hotels to open for guests and day users at reduced occupancy since mid-May, in an attempt to revive the tourism sector hit heavily by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Egypt said last week it granted 78 hotels in eight governorates a “hygiene safety” certificate required for reopening after fulfilling regulations announced by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and approved by the cabinet in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Starting June, the approved hotels' occupancy cap will be upped to 50 percent.

The hotels, however, are not permitted to hold parties, weddings, or overnight activities. Their restaurants can only serve pre-set menus, as buffet services are banned, and dining tables should be set at a safe distance to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

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