Egyptian citizens queue at Kuwait International Airport before boarding a repatriation flight to Cairo, in Kuwait City on May 5, 2020. (AFP)
Egypt is operating flights to repatriate nationals stranded in Kuwait starting Tuesday, Egypt's information minister said, a day after Kuwaiti authorities broke up riots by Egyptian workers with invalid residencies seeking to return home.
Priority for Egyptians returning from abroad will be given to humanitarian cases followed by those with expired residences or terminated contracts, then those with a final exit visa and tourists, Information Minister Osama Heikal said on Tuesday.
"We will not leave a single Egyptian seeking to return outside the country's borders," Heikal said during a joint press conference with the foreign and immigration ministers broadcast live on TV.
Repatriated nationals will undergo medical examinations upon arrival at airports and will be placed in a 14-day quarantine at university dorms, the minister said.
A separate statement by the cabinet said the government will cover the cost of those staying at university hostels, and those willing to spend their quarantine period at designated hotels in the Mediterranean city of Marsa Alam will have to pay for their stay.
Egypt is hoping to return all stranded Egyptians before the religious Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which begins around 23 May, Immigration Minister Nabila Makram told the conference.
This comes following instructions by Prime minister Mostafa Madbouly for a special government repatriation committee to accelerate the return of Egyptian nationals in the next two weeks, she said.
Egyptians in Kuwait and other Gulf countries have been pleading to get repatriated during the past few weeks.
On Monday, Kuwaiti authorities broke up riots by a group of Egyptian workers demanding repatriation at shelters designated for those who had violated the Gulf country's residency laws, arresting several people, the Kuwaiti interior ministry said.