Travelers wearing face masks amid coronavirus outbreak in Cairo International Airport (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt said it will require all travelers arriving to the country to present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) lab test result certificate for the coronavirus starting September 1, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced in a news conference on Wednesday.
Madbouly said the decision to require the test for all travelers came due to “increasing infections in some countries”.
“We are keen on ensuring the health of those arriving to the country and Egyptian citizens; therefore, we agreed that any traveler arriving to the country should be tested,” he said.
The new decision comes days after Egypt only required some travelers, excluding Egyptians, to present a negative PCR lab test result certificate for the coronavirus for entry to some areas in the country, including Cairo.
Egypt began a gradual resumption of regular international flights starting July 1, having shut its airspace in March in the wake of the pandemic.
Foreign tourists are currently allowed entry only into the three coastal Egyptian governorates with the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country – South Sinai, Red Sea, and Matrouh.
The government has so far allowed around 600 hotels that have met safety protocols to reopen at a reduced occupancy rate of 50 percent in a bid to revive the country's key tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the virus restrictions.
More than 100,000 tourists have visited Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh since Egypt’s resumption of inbound tourism on July 1, the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism said on Tuesday.
The tourists come from Belarus, Ukraine, Switzerland, Hungary and Serbia, according to the ministry.