Egypt has vaccinated all tourism workers at both Red Sea and South Sinai governorates against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as hotels and resorts gear up for the safe return of holidaymakers this summer.
All workers in tourism establishments, including hotels, resorts, cafes, restaurants, and bazaars, as well as tourism transportation in the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates, have received COVID-19 vaccine.
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anani, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed, and Minister of Civil Aviation Mohamed Manar, and Red Sea Governor Amr Hanafi made the announcement on Thursday in a press conference held during their visit to the Red Sea city of Hurghada.
The officials inspected the hygiene safety measures in Hurghada airport, hotels, and its temporary medical units installed specially to spruce up the vaccination process for the tourism sector employees.
El-Anani said, “Everyone involved in Egypt’s tourism sector has worked incredibly hard to get to this point and be able to offer a safe travel experience. Nearly a year since the resumption of tourism in Egypt, we are happy to note that the tourist numbers are steadily rising and have almost doubled since January and February 2021. The number of tourists who arrived in Egypt in January was 300,000 and increased to reach 525,000 tourists in April. Now, we are opening our doors and extending a warm invitation to people from around the world who are fed up with staying at home and are desperate to travel for their summer vacation.”
“The vaccination drive will continue in the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates with the aim to complete vaccination for the entire population in the two governorates by the end of June 2021,” he added.
“Egypt has begun the vaccination for tourism staff in other key destinations including Cairo, Giza, Luxor, and Aswan. The vaccination drive is also open to foreign residents and tourists, upon their request. The next phase will be another important step in the recovery of the tourism sector,” El-Anani said.
As part of the measures taken by the Egyptian government to eliminate cases of COVID-19 in both the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates, medical centres were allocated to receive the anti-Coronavirus vaccine, in addition to the installation of temporary medical units in few hotels and the activation of mobile medical clinics including medical teams to vaccinate tourism sector’s employees as well as medical and awareness services to citizens and tourists.
South Sinai and the Red Sea are Egypt’s largest tourism pulls. South Sinai includes the famous Sharm el-Sheikh resort, Nuweibaa, Dahab, and Taba. The Red Sea meanwhile is known for oases like Hurghada, Sahl Hashish, Gouna, Makadi and Marsa Alam.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Egypt has adopted a wide range of hygiene and safety measures to curb the spread of the virus in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). These include social distancing, mandatory masks in select public locations, compulsory testing for visitors, rigorous disinfection and sanitization drives, as well as the introduction of the Hygiene Safety Certificate as a pre-requisite for tourist establishments and operators.
As a result, the country’s popular Red Sea destinations, such as Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and Marsa Alam, have consistently reported one of the lowest infection rates in the world. In recognition of Egypt’s endeavors, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) granted the country its Safe Travel Stamp.
Travelers to Egypt must carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate from their country issued up to 72 hours prior to the time of departure (96 hours for travelers arriving from Japan, China, Thailand, the US, Canada, South America, as well as London Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt airports). Travellers arriving at Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Luxor airports can do a PCR test upon arrival at a cost of $30.