Coronavirus: Egypt to allow foreign tourists to some resorts from July 1

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Egypt will allow scheduled international flights and foreign tourists to resorts that have been least affected by the coronavirus starting from July 1, the cabinet said.

Egypt suspended regular international flights in March and shut down restaurants, hotels and cafes.

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Airports remain closed to all but domestic and repatriation flights, but hotels were last month allowed to reopen for domestic tourists at reduced capacity if they met strict health protocols.

The areas opening up are southern Sinai, where the resorts of Sharm al-Sheikh and Dahab are located, and Red Sea province, home to the Hurghada and Marsa Alam resorts, as well as Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean, the cabinet statement said.

The pandemic has shut down Egypt's tourist sector, which accounts for 5 percent of GDP.

Egypt also announced the relaxation of some restrictions during the next two weeks, including reducing the night curfew by an hour. Shop hours will be extended by an hour.

Egypt, a country of around 100 million people, has reported 38,284 coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, including 1,342 deaths. New daily cases have stayed above 1,000 over the past two weeks.

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Egypt is also considering reopening mosques in least affected provinces starting from July 1 and will hold end-of-year exams for the last grade high school students as scheduled later this month, State Information Minister Osama Heikal told a televised briefing.

Public beaches and parks will remain shut until the end of June, he added.

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