Cairo: Egypt began enforcing a ban today on the entry of foreigners who have no documents proving they have tested negative for the new coronavirus before coming to the country. Last week, authorities announced that the coronavirus-detecting PCR testing is mandatory for entering Egypt. Civil aviation authorities said the restriction is confined to foreign arrivals.
According to the decree issued by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, all those arriving in Egypt by land, sea and air are required to show documents proving they have tested negative for the coronavirus 72 hours at most before their arrival.
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Exempted from this are Arab and foreign tourists flying on non-stop flights to Egyptian resort cities of Sharm Al Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada, Marsa Allam and Matruh.
However, those tourists are banned from travelling to other parts of Egypt unless they have documents proving they are free of the virus 72 hours before moving inside the country.
Proof of tests
Likewise, foreign tourists are banned from moving from inside Egypt to resort cities of South Sinai, the Red Sea and Matruh aboard all means of transport without proving they have undergone the coronavirus testing and are free of the virus 72 hours at most before travel.
Egypt is seeking to revitalise its vital tourism industry that has been hard hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus.
The Arab world’s most populous country of more than 100 million people is battling to stem the virus. Over the past two months, Egypt has eased virus-related curbs, ending a night-time curfew and reopening most businesses.
After a surge in infections, Egypt has seen a decrease in virus cases in recent weeks.
Health authorities so far have reported a total of 96,220 infections and 5,124 fatalities.