Egypt requires coronavirus test certificate for travelers entering the country

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Friday issued a decision requiring all foreign travelers entering Egypt — whether by land, sea or air — to arrive with a certificate proving that they have tested negative for coronavirus using a PCR test.

The test must be conducted within 72 hours of reaching Egyptian territory, according to the decision published in the Official Gazette.

This decision — which will be implemented starting August 15 — applies only to foreigners who do not hold Egyptian citizenship, a statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

The decision excludes tourists with direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Taba, Marsa Alam, and Matruh, provided that they refrain from traveling to other governorates without a PCR test. It also excludes passengers with connecting flights to airports in these cities, according to the statement.

The tourism sector in Egypt has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but has been gradually reopening over the past few months.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism announced the resumption of tourism on May 4, with tourist sites and hotels operating at 25 percent capacity. The maximum operational capacity was increased to 50 percent on June 1.

Tourism experts have estimated that Egypt’s tourism sector lost one billion US dollars per month due to the pandemic.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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