Egypt sets conditions for hotels to re-open amid Covid-19

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Mon, 04 May 2020 - 12:00 GMT

Sharm el Sheikh resort- Reuters

Sharm el Sheikh resort- Reuters

CAIRO - 4 May 2020: Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani said during a cabinet meeting that hotels will operate at a maximum rate of 25% until the beginning of June after a long halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Anani added that hotels will operate by a maximum 50 percent of their capacity as of June.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli concluded the meeting by emphasizing the crucial importance of the tourism sector as a source of employment opportunities for millions of young people, and as a state resource, pointing out that the country has been keen during the past period to reduce the negative effects on this sector and its employees due to the global crisis of the Corona virus.

Conditions for hotels to follow

Hotels willing to resume work in case the government allows internal tourism in the coming period will have to follow a set of seven pillars for safe operation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce, in cooperation with the Chamber of Hotel Establishments, set the seven main pillars and explained that the pillars represent an action plan for safe tourism operation through applying a package of precautionary, preventive and sanitary measures at hotels and restaurants.

The plan includes seven axes, to which hotels and tourist facilities have to commit the moment they start hosting the guest and until their departure. The first pillar is the preventive measures at hotels upon receiving guests, in addition to internal supervision on laundry, food and beverages, swimming pools, beaches and gyms.

The measures further include housing, occupancy rate, providing awareness signs, and services to ensure a safe working environment to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the cabinet, the operating controls of restaurants in hotels were also reviewed, which include a ban on serving the buffet, relying on pre-defined menus, a ban on serving hookahs, measuring temperatures for restaurant diners, leaving a distance of no less than two meters between dining tables, and one meter between each person and another at the table, while taking into consideration the families with a maximum of six chairs on the large table, relying on single-use dining utensils as much as possible, placing sterilizers and sterilizing napkins on each dining table, and placing awareness instructions throughout the restaurant.

The conditions for internal supervision and laundry services, which include daily cleaning of rooms using the tools for the infection prevention vehicle and following the instructions of the Ministry of Health, were also reviewed, and cleansing and sterilizing all tangible points every hour in public places and public toilets using disinfectants decided by the Ministry of Health.

Hisham el-Shaer, a member of the Hotel Establishments Chamber, great preparations are taking place in order to receive domestic tourism, pointing out that all hotels were sterilized, either in agreement with the Ministry of Health or through a clear protocol with the facilities’ administrations.

“All workers in the field of tourism have been released from quarantine, and those who were infected have recovered and left hospital, and work will resume at tourist facilities in accordance with specific parameters, where all workers should wear gloves and masks,” Shaer added.

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