Egypt reopened on Tuesday museums and archaeological sites for visitors after five months of closure over COVID-19 concerns.
In a statement, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities outlined several measures to resume the tourist activities including a 50 percent capacity rate that must be in place for tourist buses.
“Egyptians and foreigners are allowed to travel between tourist cities, monuments and museums across the country,” the statement added.
But a tourist group should not exceed 25 people within all archaeological sites and museums and the tour guide must put on a face mask and use air pieces to speak with the tourists, it added.
“A total of 29 museums were reopened today,” said Moamen Othman, head of the museums’ sector at the ministry.
He explained that signs have been placed inside the museums and the archeological sites to maintain social-distancing.
The maximum number of visitors in any museum or archaeological site shouldn’t exceed 100 visitors, except for the Egyptian Museum, the country’s largest museum in Tahrir that will host 200 persons per hour.
As for the Pyramids, a maximum of 10 to 15 visitors can enter any pyramid or ancient cemetery, Othman added.
Karnak Temple, dates from around 2055 BC to around 100 AD, on the east bank of the Nile River in the city of Luxor has received several groups of Ukrainian and French tourists coming from the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada, the ministry added in its statement.
Also, the hotels have been reopened in the Upper province of Aswan that houses significant archaeological sites like the Philae temple complex.
Egypt has suspended flights and tourism in March to stem the spread of the pandemic.
Aviation traffic has been resumed since July 1, amid the country’s plan for coexistence to revive the tourism and economic sectors.
All local and foreign passengers must provide a PCR test document proving negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of arriving in Egypt.
Egypt received more 126,000 tourists since it has reopened its seaside resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Matrouh to international flights and foreign tourists at the beginning of July, with only one suspected coronavirus case, according to the official statistics.
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled al-Anany said in another statement “the virus hit the world when Egypt’s tourism has made a record in terms of the number of arriving tourists,” adding restoring the same pace will take some time due to the tourists’ reluctance to travel to anywhere.
Egypt’s tourism revenues, the main source of Egypt’s foreign currency, accounting for over 10 percent of GDP, hit a record high of 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, after it was sharply impacted by the two uprisings of 2011 and 2013 that toppled Egypt’s two presidents and shook the country’s economy.