Egypt closes museums and tourist sites, thousands of tourists fly home

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The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Saturday that all museums and archaeological sites in Egypt will be closed from March 23 to March 31.

A press release from the ministry specifies that this decision is part of the precautionary and preventive measures to counter the new coronavirus. During this period of suspension, the press release adds that awareness sessions will be organized for museum and site workers on ways to prevent and protect themselves against the virus.

Tourist attractions will be sterilized in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Population and in accordance with international standards.

Hurghada’s international airports saw the departure of thousands of European tourists on Friday following the Aviation Ministry’s decision to halt international air travel.

Hurghada International Airport officials confirmed that the decision to suspend flights had been implemented for the second day in a row, while empty planes were allowed in to organize return flights for tourists returning home them.

Officials confirmed that the majority of departures were German and English tourists.

Total tourism receipts in Egypt, or spending by inbound visitors to the country, was $16.4 billion in 2019, according to Danielle Curtis, ME Exhibition Manager at the Arabian Travel Market earlier this year. .

The government closed schools for two weeks from March 15 and suspended flights from Thursday March 19 at 12 p.m. until March 31.

Egypt on Friday announced 29 new cases of coronavirus and one additional death, bringing the total number of confirmed cases so far in the country to 285.

Eight people have died from the virus in Egypt.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 was officially a pandemic on March 11.

There have been more than 277,280 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide and more than 11,431 deaths.

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