Tourists flock back to Egypt Image Credit: Social Media

Cairo: A total of 297 tourists flew Wednesday in Egypt aboard two flights from Ukraine, on the first day of the return of foreign arrivals in the Arab country after a halt of over three months due to the novel coronavirus.

One plane with 173 tourists landed in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada, while the second with 124 on board arrived at Sharm Al Sheikh.

Tourism officials welcomed the holidyamkers upon their arrival and offered them flowers.

More visitors from Ukraine, Switzerland and Belarussia are due to arrive in the next few days in Hurghada and Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt’s major holiday spots, the Tourism Ministry said.

Egypt Wednesday began restarting international flights to specific destinations around the world as the country is seeking to mitigate the economic impact of the virus and rejuvenate its vital tourism industry.

Egyptian authorities have put in place a string of health measures for reoperating hotels in the resort areas. They include a ban on parties and nightlife as well as on buffet services at restaurants. Enough distancing should be observed among dining tables where pre-set meals only are served in disposable plates. Steam showers and massaging are suspended until further notice. Every hotel has a clinic and an on-duty doctor.

Tourism is a main source for Egyptian economy. Tourism earned more than 12 billion dollars in revenues last year, signaling a recovery from a years-long drought, according to official figures.