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Egypt to allow foreign tourists at select resorts

Egypt will open resorts in the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea to foreign travelers in July in an effort to boost tourism during the coronavirus pandemic.

Egypt will allow foreign visitors and international flights starting in July. Travelers will be allowed to visit beach resorts in the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea, such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab, according to Reuters.

Egypt halted international flights in and out of the country in March, but repatriation flights have continued since then. Many restrictions against the coronavirus remain in place in the country. Restaurants, beaches and malls are still closed. Police arrested more than 6,000 people in one week late last month for allegedly violating the curfew, which is currently from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The government is trying to boost tourism for the summer. Construction of an antiquities museum in Sharm el-Sheikh is ongoing. “We hope that it can play a role in attracting more tourists to the city,” a tourism official told Al-Monitor.

The tourism sector accounts for 5% of Egypt’s gross domestic product, according to Reuters. Revenues could fall by as much as 16% this year amid the pandemic.

People will be able to visit the resorts in the southern part of Sinai, the Red Sea province and one resort on the Mediterranean, Reuters reported.

The virus continues to grow by about 1,000 cases a day in Egypt. The country has had 39,726 confirmed cases to date, according to Worldometer. Doctors have recently criticized the Egyptian government’s handling of the pandemic, saying they are not being protected as medical staff deaths increase.

More from Al-Monitor Staff