Despair in Eilat amid coronavirus: Low occupancy and empty promenade

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Eilat has twice been first place on the list of Israeli cities where the unemployment rate is the highest.

Dan Hotel, Eilat, Israel, February 1, 2012.  (photo credit: AVISHAI TAICHER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Dan Hotel, Eilat, Israel, February 1, 2012.
(photo credit: AVISHAI TAICHER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Trouble is brewing in Israel's southernmost city due to coronavirus
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Eilat has twice ranked first as the city with the highest unemployment in Israel. This is due to closures stopping both domestic and foreign tourists from visiting, according to Maariv
And while the southern resort city was meant to undergo a week of recovery, reality does not always go as planned. 
Occupancy in Eilat's reopened hotels is only about 30%, and although up to 50 people are allowed to sit outside, the promenade is mostly empty, with shops, cafes and restaurants not as full as expected, Ynet reported. 
"We have been working for several days. Even if there are a lot of tourists, it seems that it won't compensate," said the owner of Extreme Water Sports Tom Edrei, according to the website.
"I cannot expect a line of people to do banana boating and tubing in the middle of the winter. Salvation will not come from there."
Additionally, Eilat has not been properly adhering to the guidelines required for maintaining its status as a "green island." During the first week of its opening, people who entered and then left the city were not tested at all upon their departure, Ynet reported. The enforcement of checkpoints only began a week later. 
Even though there are only 25 coronavirus patients in Eilat, the city might turn into a yellow zone due to the high number of positive tests relative to the population, according Ynet reported. 
And the weather has only made things even worse, with heavy rain sparking fears of flooded roads.
"The general atmosphere is not so good," one woman on Eilat's Nine Beach told Ynet. "We do not know where we are headed and whether the green island plan will hold."


Tags Eilat Tourism