Egyptian Hotels Near Full Capacity Allowed under Pandemic
An Egyptian tourism official has told the Reuters news agency that those of the country’s hotels now open are operating at close to the legal limit of 25% occupancy, with most of them situated in the Sinai Peninsula on the Red Sea Coast. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, said close to 80 hotels were back in operation after a shutdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and more than 170 others had applied to reopen under strict government health guidelines. Those guests who have checked in are apparently Egyptian nationals, with the country’s airports remaining closed to flights from abroad save for special repatriation flights. Tourism is estimated to account for about 5% of Egypt’s GDP. A government statement said the aim was to allow hotel occupancy rates of up to 50% starting in June. Egypt has recorded over 900 coronavirus-related deaths and close to 23,500 cases. The first were attributed to foreign nationals.