As an incentive to attract visitors back to the country in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt is reducing the cost of tourist visas in June, July and August. It has also halved entry fees to all archaeological sites and museums.

Minaret at sunset from Al Azhar Garden in Cairo, Egypt
Egypt is reducing the cost of tourist visas in June, July and August © Loïc Lagarde/500px

The country's Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities has temporarily reduced the entrance visa from $25 (€22.80) to $15 (€13.70) for arrivals to Luxor and Aswan. It has also waived rent fees for all bazaars and cafés based at the country's archaeological sites and museums, as well as halving entrance fees for visitors. Hotels in Egypt began re-opening on 18 May with a 25% capacity for the month, and occupancy will be capped at 50% from 1 June.

Mountain landscape at sunrise, Sinai, Egypt
Egypt is offering incentives to attract visitors back to the country ©Efim Chernov/500px

The country has introduced a swathe of new hygiene standard regulations for hotels, and they must follow the health guidelines laid out by the Egyptian government and the World Health Organisation. They have to undergo mandatory sterilisation before re-opening, and incoming guests will undergo temperature tests for COVID-19. The number of occupants in each hotel room has been capped at two adults and one child.

Mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri, Luxor, Egypt
Mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri in Luxor © Michelle McMahon/Getty Images

Hotels must pass an audit to ensure they are meeting the new hygiene standards, which includes providing staff and guests with masks, gloves and personal protective equipment. The new measures include internal supervision on laundry, food, and beverages, swimming pools, beaches and gyms. Check-in will be contactless from now on using disposable pens, and luggage will be sterilised and hand sanitiser provided. Each hotel must have a resident health specialist to respond to emergencies, and valet services are not permitted to operate at present.

A pyramid and the Great Sphinx of Giza
Egypt has halved entry fees to all archaeological sites © Peter Seaward/Lonely Planet

Prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has stated that there will be a gradual resumption of some activities from mid-June, and it will also consider the return of in-house dining at restaurants with strict safety measures later in June.

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