Egypt To Restart Tourist Flights July, In Bid To Boost Economy

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Egypt will allow foreign tourists and flights to return to some of its resorts beginning from July, as the country struggles to contain the economic fallout from an outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The country’s vital tourism and aviation sectors have borne the economic impact of the virus.
Tourist and air traffic will resume to the coastal cities “least affected by the virus, beginning July 1,” Information Minister Osama Heikal said on Thursday in televised remarks, but without providing further details.
He was apparently referring to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, famed attractions for foreign holidaymakers.
The announcement comes a day after Egypt said tourists arriving at its resorts on charter flights from would be exempt from visa fees until the end of October, a step aimed at revitalising tourism, a main source of national income.
The official did not say when Egypt will resume regular air travel, which was halted in March as part of measures to limit the spread of the virus in the Arab world’s most populous country.
A night-time nationwide curfew currently in place will be shortened by one hour a night for two weeks, Heikal said. Starting from Sunday, the curfew will run from 8 pm (1800 GMT)to 4 am daily.
The official said the government was studying the possible reopening of places of worship beginning July 1 in the provinces least affected by the virus outbreak.
Mosques and churches have been shut down since March in the Muslim-majority country.
The government plans a gradual opening up of economic activities depending on the virus situation in the country, Heikal said.
“The [state]Crisis Management Committee takes into consideration striking a balance between two things: protecting people’s health on the one hand and boosting economy on the other,” he added.
Egypt, a country of nearly 100 million people, has recently seen a surge in the virus caseload.
Egypt has so far reported 38,284 infections, resulting in 1,342 deaths.


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