Egypt lifts Covid-19 restrictions for all in-bound travellers

Daily infection rates have been steadily declining in the country since a peak in February

Tourists enjoy a day by the beach in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh. Reuters
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The Egyptian government has announced it is lifting all Covid-19 restrictions for travellers into the country, whether citizens or visitors. The decision was announced on Thursday, after a meeting between Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and the Egyptian Supreme Committee for the Management of the Epidemiology and Health Pandemic Crisis.

Officials have not, however, specified when the decision will come into effect.

Currently, all travellers arriving in Egypt, including citizens, need to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers who have had the second dose of an approved vaccine 14 days prior to travel are exempt from taking a PCR test.

Daily Covid-19 cases and deaths have been declining in Egypt after reaching a record high of 2,300 daily cases and a fifth wave peak of 60 deaths in early February, according to the country's health ministry.

In May, Egypt recorded one of the lowest rates of average daily Covid-19 cases and deaths since the pandemic began. Mosques and shrines were also allowed to operate normally across the country.

During Ramadan in April and May, the country ended its two-year suspension on the traditional Ramadan charity banquets for the needy on the streets and allowed Taraweeh night prayers.

Last week, officials announced the country will host a travel trade show to boost post-Covid-19 recovery and promote itself as a tourist destination.

The Gate Travel Expo, taking place from September 6 to 9 in Cairo, is expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors and 200 companies from at least 56 countries, organisers said.

“Egypt deserves to be on the world tourism map in a much bigger way,” said Amr El Kady, chief executive of the government's Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board.

The country will also be hosting the UN Cop27 climate change conference in Sharm El Sheikh in November.

Tourism directly and indirectly accounted for as much as 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product before the pandemic, according to official tourism statistics.

In 2020 Egyptian tourism officials said tourist numbers dropped to 3 million, a stark contrast from the 13 million visitors the previous year.

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Updated: June 17, 2022, 8:40 AM
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