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The New Arab

Egypt abolishes coronavirus quarantine restrictions for newly-arrived passengers

Passengers arriving at Cairo International Airport will not have to spend time in quarantine [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 June, 2020

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Egyptian authorities have abolished quarantine restrictions for passengers returning from abroad on commercial flights.

Authorities in Egypt have abolished quarantine restrictions for Egyptians returning to their country on emergency flights via Cairo International Airport.

Previously everyone returning to Egypt on flights organised by the ministry of civil aviation had to stay in quarantine for 14 days, although this was reduced to seven days on 20 May.

Now, returnees will only be asked to sign a document saying that they will isolate themselves at home for one week until it is confirmed that they do not have coronavirus symptoms.

Cairo Airport authorities began implementing the relaxed rules on Wednesday evening on 450 passengers newly arrived from the Lebanese capital Beirut, who were permitted to leave the airport after their temperatures were taken.

According to the new rules, any arriving passenger suspected of being infected with coronavirus will be taken to a special hospital by medical staff.

Read also: Egypt’s relentless war on journalism persists amid pandemic

It is believed that the relaxation of quarantine restrictions is the first step towards the return of commercial and tourist flights to the country.

Cairo suspended all commercial flights into and out of Egypt on 19 March, as part of a series of measures to fight coronavirus.

Flights evacuating stranded tourists, or bringing Egyptians back from abroad were excepted, as were cargo flights.

So far there have been 28,615 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,088 deaths in Egypt, according to official figures. However, there are reports that the real number of cases could be much higher.

The Egyptian government has been accused of persecuting journalists who have tried to independently investigate the coronavirus situation in the country. Medical unions have also accused the government of neglecting the safety of doctors and nurses.

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