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Egypt: Travellers entering must present negative COVID-19 test

Egyptians get tested for Covid-19 at a drive-through coronavirus-testing centre at the Ain Shams University in Cairo on 29 June 2020. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
Egyptians get tested for Covid-19 at a drive-through coronavirus-testing centre at the Ain Shams University in Cairo on 29 June 2020. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt has said that travellers wishing to enter the country must present a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of arriving in the country.

Foreign tourists arriving by direct flight to Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, and Marsa Matrouh are not required to present the test.

Authorities have also banned the movement or transfer of foreign tourists between Cairo and the governorates of the Red Sea, South Sinai and Marsa Matrouh.

Domestic airline tickets will only be issued for residency holders, not foreigners who hold tourist visas.

Egypt opened up for tourism on 1 July after a three-month closure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels and restaurants are allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity if they adhere to health and safety protocols.

However, despite the fact that top tourist attractions, such as the pyramids of Giza, were deep cleaned and reopened, many of them remained deserted.

At one point, Tourism Minister Khaled Al-Anany said Egypt was losing $1 billion a month.

More recently, Al-Anany has said that some 50,000 tourists have visited the holiday destinations of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada since international flights resumed.

READ: Thousands of Egyptians lost their jobs after Kuwait suspended flights

Despite the fact that Egypt is working to get its tourism industry back on its feet, the International Monetary Fund has predicted that Egypt, along with Morocco and Turkey, will record more than two per cent losses of its GDP due to coronavirus.

The Central Bank of Egypt has said that in the first quarter of 2020, revenues from the tourist sector hit their lowest rate in two years.

In the first quarter of 2019 Egypt’s tourism revenues were $2.6 billion and in 2020, over the same period of time, they were $2.3 billion, an 11.4 per cent decrease.

The economic repercussions of the pandemic are huge for Egypt, which was already struggling due to government mismanagement and corruption.

Last month a Reuters poll said that economic growth in Egypt will slow to 3.1 per cent in the 2020/21 fiscal year, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Egypt was hit hard by coronavirus yet the real figures of infections and deaths were constantly in dispute as officials tried to cover up the extent of the virus.

There are currently 41,157 active cases and 4,951 deaths in Egypt.

Coronavirus is affecting the world's economy - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus is affecting the world’s economy – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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