Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has granted 11 floating hotels in Luxor and Aswan the health and safety certificate required to reopen as part of precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement on Monday, the ministry said that the certificates were awarded following the verification that the floating hotels met all the health and safety requirements set out by the Egyptian government and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Abdel Fattah Al-Assi, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for monitoring tourism facilities, said that two of these hotels have already embarked on trips after obtaining the certificate, receiving tourists from the US, France and Spain.
He also said that the 11 floating hotels were part of a group of 22 to have applied for the health and safety certificate.
Al-Assi added that the floating hotels that have been inspected but failed to meet the requirements will work to reconcile their conditions, and will later be re-examined. He said that the ministry’s inspection committees are continuing to look at other floating hotels that have applied for the certificate.
Once received, the health and safety certificate will allow hotels and tourism establishments to operate at an occupancy rate of no more than 50% of its capacity.
Egypt suspended international flights at all airports nationwide on 19 March, as part of government efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Inbound tourism flights only resumed on 1 July to three governorates as part of a first stage, namely the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh Governorates. Tourism activities to Luxor and Aswan resumed in early September, with floating hotels allowed to resume work on 1 October.