Egypt halts rapid ID NOW coronavirus test for arrivals from countries with COVID variants

Ahram Online , Hisham Abdel-Aziz , Wednesday 10 Nov 2021

Egypt has halted the use of rapid ID NOW coronavirus test for arrivals from countries with COVID-19 variants starting Tuesday.

Cairo International Airport

The decision, which applies to passengers arriving at all land and sea ports and will be implemented by quarantine authorities, was made by the Preventive Medicine Sector of the Ministry of Health.

The countries covered by the decision are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Brazil - and Latin America.

The authorities will now only conduct the ID NOW test on arriving passengers in cases of emergency, those arriving after attending mass gatherings, as well as foreign travelers whose countries’ travel requirements require them to undergo the exam.

The ID NOW instrument-based test, introduced by the US-based medical device company Abbott, has been widely used at airports since last year for detecting coronavirus infection in less than 15 minutes.

Egypt started conducting the ID NOW test last May for Egyptians and non-Egyptians arriving from countries with coronavirus variants.

Egypt, which has resumed international flights and reopened its main tourist attractions in July of 2020 after three months of suspension due to the pandemic, is currently witnessing a large influx of tourists with tourism, according to officials.

However, the country has witnessed a rise in coronavirus infections in recent weeks amid efforts to expand the country’s mass vaccination campaign.

PCR

Egypt will continue to require the submission of negative PCR test results a maximum of 72 hours prior to the arrival in Egypt, the Preventive Medicine Sector said.

Travelers entering Egypt at any of four airports in the Red Sea governorate and South Sinai, however, can take a coronavirus test upon arrival.

In June, Egypt allowed travellers who are fully vaccinated with WHO-approved coronavirus vaccines to enter without taking a PCR test.

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