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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Egypt could make travel insurance mandatory for tourists, to issue global tender for insurance provider

Egypt is considering making travel insurance mandatory for all incoming visitors, Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) Deputy Head Reda Abdel Moaty said, according to International Travel and Health Insurance Journal. The FRA will reportedly launch a global tender to select an insurance provider once it completes a study that will be used to determine the value of premiums and collection methods,” which should be complete around mid-September. The winning company will be expected to provide tourists with coverage that extends to personal accidents, disability, death, as well as medical expenses. This comes days after the death of British couple John and Susan Cooper while on holiday in Hurghada last week.

Thomas Cook boss Peter Fankhauser arrived in Cairo yesterday to look further into the the case and is set to meet with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to discuss the ongoing investigation, BBC reports. The executive is also hoping company investigators will be granted access to the room in which the couple had been staying. Earlier reports had suggested that a gas leak might have been responsible, but Egyptian investigators had ruled that out and are testing food, water, and air conditioning systems at the hotel. Around 13 other holidaymakers had complained to Thomas Cook about being served “raw meat and drinks from unwashed glasses” at the same Hurghada hotel, the Steigenberger Aqua Magic — in other words, standard tourist complaints that shed absolutely no light on how an apparently otherwise healthy couple could have died.

A UK court had ordered Thomas Cook to pay a GBP 26,000 compensation to a British family that also fell ill at the same hotel, the Guardian says. “Five other customers have lodged legal claims against Thomas Cook for illnesses allegedly caused by stays at the hotel this year.” The operator has reportedly said that the number is “low for a hotel of its size.”

The story is topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press and is being widely picked up by British media.

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