Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

Egypt scrambles to repatriate citizens stranded abroad

People wait for arrivals at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in west London on 21 December 2020, as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK, due to the rapid spread of a new, more-infectious coronavirus strain. [Kate Green - Anadolu Agency]
People wait for arrivals at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in west London on 21 December 2020, as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK, due to the rapid spread of a new, more-infectious coronavirus strain. [Kate Green - Anadolu Agency]

Egypt is trying to repatriate citizens stranded abroad after several countries have shut their borders in response to a new strain of coronavirus discovered in the UK.

Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait have shut their borders for at least a week.

On Saturday, Boris Johnson announced that London and the southeast of England were being placed on lockdown to prevent the spread of a new strain of COVID-19 that is thought to be 70 per cent more transmissible.

On Sunday, countries started to ban travel from the UK and the list has grown to more than 50 countries having banned or severely restricting arrivals.

Several countries have put a stop to all travel activities for a week, including Saudi Arabia which has closed its land borders and suspended international flights.

Other countries, for example Turkey, have temporarily suspended flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa where the new strain has also been detected.

READ: Egypt: Forcibly disappeared boy turns 15 away from home

In March, Egypt shut down international travel during the first lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

Expatriates stranded during this pandemic criticised the government for being slow to help them return home.

A video shared widely at the time showed Egyptian workers protesting in Kuwait where they were being kept in shelters with no water, electricity or toilets because they had exceeded the length of time they were allowed to stay because of covid prevention measures.

Kuwaiti security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

In January, Egyptian expats stranded in Qatar protested outside the embassy in Doha calling on the government not to involve them in their political differences and help them return home.

The demonstration came after Qatar offered to fly them home but Egyptian authorities refused to grant them entry.

Categories
AfricaCoronavirusEgyptNews
Show Comments
Order your copy of our latest book - Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy - Palestine
Show Comments