Cairo: Egyptian authorities have warned coastal resorts against barring women clad in conservative burkini swimwear.
The warning comes after controversy erupted on social media over a recent incident at a resort village where a burkini-wearing Egyptian woman had been reportedly requested by bikini wearers to leave a swimming pool. Critics condemned the act against the burkini-clad woman as discriminatory.
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Locally known as the Sharia-compliant swimsuit, the burkini is a full-body garment that also covers the head. Over recent years, the outfits have become widely popular in Egypt amid a wave of Islamism.
Minister of Local Development Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Sharawai, whose ministry is responsible for provincial cities, defended the burkini wearers’ right to use pools and beaches at resorts.
“Hotels and tourist villages have been notified not to prevent women wearing the burkini as long as the costume is not made of material that harmfully reacts with water or causes any negative effects to public health,” he said in a statement.
“Governors are in constant contacts with owners of hotels and tourist resorts, overseen by provincial authorities, to ensure compliance with those regulations that have been devised in coordination with the state agencies concerned in this regard,” he added.
Egypt has recently eased coronavirus-induced restrictions, allowing the reopening of seaside resorts for local and foreign holidaymakers in an effort to boost economy.