Egypt's health ministry is planning to present the Egyptian experience in managing the coronavirus crisis in a bid to reverse the UK’s latest decision to add Egypt to its travel red list, said Minister of Health Hala Zayed on Sunday.
Zayed will receive the UK Ambassador in Egypt Geoffrey Adams once he returns to the capital, the minister said on television.
Last week, the UK added Egypt and six other countries to its travel red list of destinations requiring hotel quarantine on return to England. It also changed Portugal from its quarantine-free green list to amber.
Travellers arriving to Britain from Egypt will go through a 10-day mandatory quarantine.
Zayed said the UK's decision came as a surprise, given the rise in vaccination rates and the declining infections in Egypt.
Egypt has embarked in March on a national program to vaccinate millions of citizens.
The country had vaccinated health care workers in January.
Moreover, Egypt has fully vaccinated all staff working in key industries across both the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates, two of the country’s tourism hotspots.
The government also closed restaurants and coffee shops for three weeks in May to stem a rise in coronavirus infections during the third wave.
Meanwhile, Egypt plans to begin production of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine next week.
Last week, Egypt recorded a drop in coronavirus cases, reporting less less than 1,000 cases for the first time since 26 April.
Mohamed El-Nady, a member of the health ministry’s scientific committee to combat coronavirus, said last week that Egypt is now past the peak of the third wave.
The minister added that a number of countries may resort to similar decisions when they lack accurate information, asserting that presenting the Egyptian experience in managing the pandemic may change the UK’s mind.
Zayed expected the UK's decision to be temporary as countries usually update these lists periodically.
The UK’s travel red list decision, which will come into effect on Tuesday, includes Bahrain, Sudan, Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago.
In light of the UK’s decision, the flag carrier EgyptAir has updated its guidelines regarding travel from Egypt to the UK, including not allowing traveling to the UK except for those who have residence permit in the UK.
Zayed added on television that Egypt is expected to see a significant decline in coronavirus cases within next month and to maintain a low rate of infections throughout July and August.