Good news for Egypt's tourism industry, but it there are a host of strict rules and regulations being applied for inbound passengers.
Yes, it’s finally happening. Starting July 1st, all airports in Egypt are reopening and will resume international commercial flights. The news comes after the European Union's Aviation Safety Agency gave Egypt the all-clear, classifying its airports as ‘completely safe’, following rigorous and extensive processes to ensure safety of passengers. But the resumption of flights doesn’t come without stipulations and rules – this is not going to be a free-for-all.
In an effort to strike a balance between saving Egypt’s tourism industry and maintaining national safety, strict rules and stipulations are to be put in place. These rules differ depending on the type of inbound flights, which have been broken down into two distinct categories.
The first type of flight is your regularly-scheduled, individually-ticketed commercial flights which you would book through an airline. The second type are charter flights, the kind that don’t appear on regular schedules, but are organised by and booked through tour operators. Charter flights often come as part of holiday packages that include hotel bookings and organised touristic activities. The heightened risk here is that you have a large group from one country travelling, staying and holidaying together for the duration of their trip and so additional rules have been applied.
Here's what you need to know:
-All travellers arriving from countries with high Corona infection rates will be required to submit PCR test results 48 hours before travelling.
-All travellers arriving from countries where the virus has been contained will only be subject to a temperature check upon arrival to the airport.
-Before receiving boarding passes, all travellers will be required to sign a statement of declaration confirming that they are not infected and that they are responsible for reporting sickness to Egyptian officials.
-If it’s suspected that a traveller has caught the virus in Egypt, they will be quarantined at their hotel and receive on-site medical treatment in a designated, isolated wing of said hotel.
-There are different rules for charter flights and off-schedule, group package holidays by tour operators. They will only be allowed to enter Egypt via airports in the Red Sea, South Sinai and Marsa Matrouh governorates, for the foreseeable future.
-Charter flight passengers will not be allowed to travel outside of the governorate in which they arrive, including via domestic flights.
-Tour operators will be offered incentives for charter flights, including free visas till October and reduced airport fees for its holidaymakers.
-On the part of hotels, only 50% of any given hotel’s workforce can be on-site at one time. They will also be required to take a daily temperature check and will only be allowed to take leave every 60 days to limit travel between governorates.
-For Egyptian travellers, Egypt Air has announced that it will begin operating flights to several destinations, though they have yet to be confirmed.