Egypt reopened its famed Giza pyramids to the public after a three-month closure. The reopening marked the restart of a vital tourism industry battered by the COVID-19 pandemic
The pyramids were the country’s first tourist attraction to reopen, along with the Egyptian Museum next to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, ground zero of the 2011 revolution.
“The closing of the pyramids for four months has rarely happened in history, it has almost never happened that the pyramids were closed and no one entered them,” Mohamed Farouk, a tour guide told Africa News.
He added that the reopening is a new phase after a historic closure.
“This is our chance to be among the first people to visit the pyramids after their reopening [to the public]”.
Farid Cortes, a Colombian tourist, was among the first to visit.
“We decided to come to the pyramids today because, since they have been closed for so long, we felt that the energy will be very clear and we wanted to explore the pyramids in this setting.”
In 2019, 13.6 million people visited Egypt and numbers this year were expected to exceed 15 million, according to a report from the BBC.
Tourism accounts for more than 12% of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the minister.
Like many other countries around the world, Egypt was hit hard by the current global health crisis.
Egypt has reported more than 84,800 confirmed positive cases and more than 4,000 deaths, placing as the second country on the continent with the highest number of cases.
South Africa has the most cases in Africa with more than 311,000 confirmed positive cases and more than 4,450 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.