A general view for El Ataba square during curfew hours in Cairo, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Cairo, Egypt May 10, 2020. Picture taken May 10, 2020. (Reuters)
Egypt has decided to shorten a mandatory quarantine period for Egyptians arriving from abroad from 14 days to one week, a source at Cairo International Airport told Ahram Online on Tuesday.
Returnees who test negative by the end of the seven-day period will be allowed to spend the rest of their quarantine at home, the source at the airport's quarantine department said.
The source revealed that the decision has already come in effect, with some returnees who have spent a week allowed to leave quarantine facilities earlier on Tuesday.
Under rules introduced earlier, all citizens returning from abroad were required to be placed in two-week quarantine at designated hotels or university hostels.
Egyptian authorities require all returnees to sign a letter agreeing to the quarantine before boarding their flight – a precautionary measure meant to limit the spread of the virus, which has infected over 12,000 people and claimed over 600 lives in the country.
Egypt began repatriating its citizens abroad in March after it grounded all international flights as part of sweeping measures to limit the spread of the virus.
The country has limited its air traffic to domestic trips and cargo flights.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said last week that authorities were hoping to repatriate all nationals stuck abroad before the Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, which is set to begin on 24 May.
He expected the number of repatriated nationals to exceed 16,000 by that time.