Egypt’s tourism ministry has canceled a trip to the United States, citing the ongoing coronaviral outbreak in the Middle East, as officials warned travelers to stay indoors.
The travel advisory was canceled at midnight Friday due to the virus outbreak, according to a statement from the ministry, which oversees tourism in Egypt.
The announcement came hours after the Interior Ministry said it had shut down all hotels and hostels in the capital Cairo, citing concerns over the coronaviruses spreading.
Travelers who had already been booked to Egypt should be aware that this is a new situation and they should plan accordingly, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry did not identify the hotels or hostels, but EgyptAir confirmed they were in the midst of a “suspicious activity” at the time of the cancellation.
Officials said the cancellation of the tour was a “remedy” that would be used “to strengthen our ability to respond quickly to emergencies.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who took office in 2015, has sought to portray the coronas outbreak as a global pandemic and is trying to draw foreign countries to the region.
On Friday, he ordered the closure of nearly a dozen US embassies and consulates in the region, and the closure was extended to several others.
But the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was not among those affected by the announcement.