FILE - A resort in Marsa Alam - Wikimedia Commons/Marc Ryckaert
CAIRO – 8 June 2020: Inspection committees have checked six hotels in Marsa Alam, a city in the southeastern governorate of Red Sea, to decide whether they apply the required measures that enable them to receive Egyptian guests, a tourism official said.
These six are the first batch of hotels in Marsa Alam, one of the popular tourist attractions in the country, to be inspected, as part of Egypt’s strategy to restore domestic tourism amid the coronavirus crisis, while making sure the hotels apply the required preventive measures.
The number of hotels that have been inspected in the Red Sea governorate reached 33, including these six, Manal Saleh, director of the Tourism Ministry’s office in the governorate said.
The required measures include maintaining social distancing among guests in restaurants and swimming pools, sterilizing rooms and corridors. Also, the staff have to sanitize themselves periodically and wear masks.
Late in April, the Egyptian Cabinet said it reviews the possibility to allow domestic tourism, amid the coronavirus crisis, based on precautionary measures and studies, the spokesman said. Later, in May, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli announced a bundle of measures as part of the state’s plan to restore normal life.
In a press conference attended by a number of ministers, Madbouli said the world started to move toward plans to "co-exist" with the coronavirus, so the Egyptian state and people have to work on restoring normal life, while taking into consideration some preventive measures.
Later, Minister of Tourism Khaled Al-Anani has checked some of the hotels in the Red Sea governorate and inspected the medical clinics in these hotels, in order to allow them to receive Egyptian guests at a 25 percent capacity.
In May, some hotels in different Egyptian cities were allowed to receive a number of guests, after meeting health and safety standards, in accordance with the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.
As the Egyptian government has planned to gradually re-open domestic tourism amid the crisis, these hotels in the northern governorates of Alexandria and Matrouh, as well as the Red Sea governorate, in southeastern Egypt and South Sinai, in the east of the country, have received Egyptian guests. These hotels have been given the Hygiene Safety certificate approved by the ministry.
All of the approved hotels strictly apply the required safety standards, including social distancing and other preventive measures such as sterilizing luggage, monitoring the temperature of the guests, sanitizing hands and sterilizing receptions, lobbies, kitchens, restaurants, swimming pools, beaches and corridors, said Maged Fawzi, head of Egypt’s Chamber of Tourism Establishments.
Joint inspection committees will check the hotels periodically, to ensure safety procedures are applied correctly, Fawzi said.
Also, 12 five-star hotels in Egypt’s northern governorate of Alexandria managed to obtain the health safety certificate required to host Egyptian guests, a tourism official in Alexandria said.
These 12 hotels have been granted the certificate after applying the preventive measures required to restore domestic tourism, tourism official Ali Al-Manesterly told Egypt Today.
So far, 200 hotels have obtained this permit nationwide, Manesterly added.