Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on Saturday announced that it is launching an extensive investigation on a tourist resort in Hurghada which reportedly violated the health requirements hotels must follow to operate under the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the ministry statement, a sector overseeing hotel and tourist establishments at the ministry will investigate the resort for holding a party without abiding by the social distancing measures stipulated in the requirements.
Inspections from the ministry have confirmed the violation, the statement said, with a memorandum of the incident to be presented Minister of Tourism and Antiquities to begin the necessary legal measures against the resort.
The ministry said it does not tolerate any violations and will take strict legal measures against them, stressing that hotels must commit to the health safety requirements in order to continue operating.
Domestic tourism across Egypt resumed on May 22 following a two-month suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak. The government allowed for hotels to operate again at 25 percent of their capacity until June 1, when they can operate at 50 percent capacity.
Hotels must provide a safe stay for the guests and workers by banning buffet service and instead relying on menu-only dining, banning hookah pipes, taking guests’ temperatures before they enter the hotel restaurant, leaving a safe distance between tables, providing a clinic and a doctor in the hotel, and ensuring the quality of the personal protective tools and sterilization materials used.
Egyptian hotels in Hurghada on the Red Sea were among the first group of hotels to receive domestic tourists after hotels were temporarily ordered to close due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Egypt had suspended tourism in March as part of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Tourism is a vital sector in Egypt. The tourism sector accounts for about 12 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product.
The tourism sector is one of the most severely impacted sectors of the economy by the coronavirus outbreak, which has undermined tourism and the airline industry worldwide.
Egypt on Saturday confirmed 1,677 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s number of confirmed total cases so far to 42,980. The total number of COVID-19 deaths has now reached 1,484 nationwide, after announcing 62 more deaths.