Resorts in Egypt now have the full authority to dictate what swimwear their guests can wear, according to a recent ministerial decision reported by local media.
The decision most significantly implies that resorts can legally ban women from wearing the full-body swimsuit, commonly known as the burkini.
The Ministry of Tourism had initially banned resorts from prohibiting the burkini, only to back out on the decision a day later.
Last Friday, the Ministry of Tourism issued an order banning hotels from preventing hijab-wearing women in full-body swimsuits from entering their swimming pools, following complaints against hotels banning the burkini.
According to The New Arab, the order was signed by the deputy director of the Egyptian Hotel Association, Sameh Al-Jaraf.
The ministry has since backpedaled on its decision and retracted the initial order, Egypt Independent reported on Sunday. The ministry cited "religious discrimination" as grounds for its decision, as the initial order explicitly mentioned "hijab-wearing women."
The new order states that the initial decision will be revoked until further study.
In response, officials in the tourism section have called out the ministry for issuing confusing decisions without adequate deliberation, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
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Despite being in a Muslim-majority country, several high-end resorts and hotels in Egypt do not welcome burkini-wearing guests.
Late in July, a hijabi was allegedly forced out of the country's Hacienda Bay Resort for wearing the controversial swimwear.
Facebook user Sarah El Amry had witnessed the entire incident, sharing a post about it on her Facebook wall. In it, she expressed her outrage at people's reactions after spotting a woman swimming in a burkini at said beach.
"A group of people forced her out of the beach and wanted to check the material of her burkini because they worried it was 'unhygienic,'" El Amry wrote. "Some of them even beat the woman's husband and her young son," she added.