Egypt bars entry without COVID-19 testing

Cairo: Egyptian authorities have made the coronavirus-detecting PCR testing mandatory for entering the country as Egypt struggles to stem COVID-19.

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Egypt’s Official Gazette has published a decision by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli barring entry into the country for all those coming by land, sea and air unless they have documents proving they have tested negative for the coronavirus 72 hours at most before their arrival.

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The decision makes an exception to Arab and foreign tourists flying on non-stop flights to resort cities of Sharm Al Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada, Marsa Allam and Matruh. However, those tourists are banned from travelling to other parts of Egypt unless they have documents proving they are free of the virus 72 hours before moving inside the country.

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Likewise, foreign tourists are banned from moving from inside Egypt to resort cities of South Sinai, the Red Sea and Matruh aboard all means of transport without documents proving they have undergone the coronavirus test and are free of the virus 72 hours at most before travel.

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Over the past two months, Egypt has eased virus-related restrictions, ending a nighttime curfew and reopening most businesses including some resorts amid strict health precautions.

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Egypt is seeking to revitalise its vital tourism industry hit hard by the anti-virus curbs.

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After a surge in infections, Egypt has seen a decrease in virus cases in recent weeks.

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Health authorities Thursday reported 131 new virus cases and 21 related deaths.

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The country of around 100 million people so far has registered a total of 95,006 infections and 4,951 fatalities.

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