Egypt will require all people entering the country to present Polymerase Chain Reaction test results for the new coronavirus on arrival from September 1, the prime minister said in a televised address on Wednesday.
Egypt will also allow Friday prayers to resume in mosques from August 28 under strict health and safety protocols to be issued by the Ministry of Endowments, Mostafa Madbouly added.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a major blow for Egypt’s tourism sector, a vital source of income which accounts for up to 15 percent of the country’s GDP.
After two months of closure due to the pandemic, Egypt allowed some hotels to re-open in May at a reduced capacity of 25 percent, before increasing it to 50 percent. The country reopened its airports to international commercial flights at the beginning of July.
“Hotel occupancy rates in Hurghada range between 30 percent-40 percent now, and it is the top tourist area in terms of occupancy in the Red Sea governorate,” said Kamel Abou Aly, chairman of the Red Sea Tourism Investment Association.
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