Boost for Tourism as Egypt Removes Pre-Travel Testing Requirement
The Egyptian Ministry of Health has said that tourists visiting Egypt will no longer have to submit a PCR test before travelling if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Travellers who have received both doses of any of the available vaccines (or just the single dose required of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) at least 14 days before arrival in Egypt will not have to submit a PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure. Passengers will be required to provide a QR-coded certificate as proof that they have been fully vaccinated.
Vaccinated tourists will be allowed into Egypt regardless of the current coronavirus situation in their country of origin, however, an official statement says that those visiting from 'countries affected by the mutated strains of the Corona virus' will be required to take a rapid test on arrival at the airport. The specific countries listed as of 29 June are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brazil and 'Latin America'.
Egypt's vaccine programme is well underway but slow relative to that of the UK, with 3.5 million of the country's 104.2million citizens having received at least one dose and just over 760,000 people now fully vaccinated. Tourist resorts, which represent approximately 65 per cent of all Egypt's tourism industry – which brought in US$12.6 billion in the year before the coronavirus pandemic shut down global travel – have been prioritised for the rollout, with up to a million tourism workers having already received their vaccines.
Unfortunately for British tourists, however, Egypt remains on the UK's 'red list' for travel, meaning that even though Egypt will let UK tourists in, they would be required to take a PCR test prior to leaving Egypt and take two more during a 10-day mandatory quarantine in a government-approved hotel. This despite the fact that Egypt's recorded coronavirus case rate is an order of magnitude lower than the UK's.
Travellers who have not been fully vaccinated will still be required to submit a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, unless flying from Heathrow, in which case the timing is extended to 96 hours prior to departure.