As I am sure you have all heard, the airports in Egypt will close tomorrow. It is an excellent idea to sanitise everywhere over the next two weeks with no tourists arriving.
Those landing at Cairo (not sure about Hurghada) have been tested with the new 15 minute COVID-19 tests. This is before the passengers get to passport control. They are put in a waiting room with called with a ticket number and tested. When their results are ready they can proceed. My neighbour just landed last night.
The staff in all the hotels and tourist shops are to remain for the next 14 days. Most come from the villages along the River Nile so this protects the spread. With one main road with security points connecting the Red Sea to Cairo and the River Nile, this can be controlled easily.
I live next door to a hotel full of Belgiums, many who come for weeks at a time, and some have been doing this for 20 odd years. I guess some will remain, and the majority will depart.
I hope with the outdoor lifestyle here and the hot sunshine on tables and chairs, this gives us added protection.
The small supermarkets are fully stocked, including toilet rolls and hand sanitizers. And extra storage facilities have been allocated for their stock.
All the events have been cancelled, small markets, our Rotary District Conference in Sahl Hasheesh, but sadly also the big annual events like the International Squash and Kings Polo tournament.
We have cancelled our weekly meeting of our Rotary Club. This is all I do, voluntary work as a Rotarian, so we will continue online.
We have so much space around us here that we can walk around lagoons, and deserted beaches without coming into close contact with anyone.
The thing that is keeping me most busy these days is my new hobby of studying the birds. 30 years ago El Gouna didn't exist. It was just marshy desert along the coastline. Now with the beautiful landscaping and plant life irrigated with treated waste water has attracted so many resident birds, and also the spectacular bi-annual migration overhead which is happening now.
With my Nikon Coolpix B700 super zoom camera I have been trying to learn the different species and record them. Having followed the lives of the kestrels for the past 7 years that nest directly opposite my balcony, the Ornithologists were surprised at the variety of prey they were catching. Before I had always concentrated on the kestrels, but now also taking more notice of the species of birds they are eating.
Here is the log of birds recorded on eBird for the hotspot of El Gouna if anyone is interested: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4302422
And a video taken over the past five years of my neighbours the kestrels who are currently busy having sex all day long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7CZ_vGXVtM&t=3s
So, it will be interesting to see what happens over the next two weeks. Hopefully we will prevent the disastrous situation that Italy has experienced.
My brother was due to visit in 28 days and that has been cancelled, and my niece and her boyfriend due end of April. We shall see what happens.
I wish you all good health and hope the world can work together to improve this situation quickly.
Off to look for storks and buzzards passing my roof terrace now