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Egyptian tourism to return after five-month hiatus

Egypt is set to resume cultural tourism on Sept. 1 after a five-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision, issued by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, will involve strict adherence to precautionary measures against coronavirus.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the health regulations after the decision by the Supreme Committee for the Management of the Coronavirus Crisis to allow tourism in the Luxor and Aswan governorates.

Tourist locations are to operate at 50 percent of their maximum operating capacity, while tourist transport (buses, limousines and golf carts) must carry 50 percent of their maximum capacity and leave vacant seats between each passenger. Limousines are limited to two passengers.

Mohammed Othman, head of the Cultural Tourism Marketing Committee in Upper Egypt, said that tourist and hotel establishments in Luxor and Aswan have completed preparations to receive foreign and domestic visitors.

He added that tourists from Poland and Belgium will be the first to visit archaeological and cultural sites, followed by groups from Japan, South Korea and France throughout the month.

Othman said that Egyptian tourism companies sent promotional leaflets to foreign tourism agents for Egyptian tourist destinations.

The leaflets included praise for the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, for the suggested precautionary measures applied to Egyptian tourism and hotel facilities.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who met with Pololikashvili during a recent Egyptian trip, said there is a list of hotels and restaurants in Luxor and Aswan that have health and safety certificates. He added that Luxor International Airport is ready to receive tourists after precautionary measures were put in place.

El-Sisi said that about 700 tourism workers in Luxor have been trained to practice social distancing measures.

Tharwat Agamy, head of the Chamber of Tourism Companies in Upper Egypt, said there have been dozens of requests from countries, including Japan, Italy and Belgium, to organize trips to Luxor during September.

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