Sunday, April 18, 2021

COVID-19: Finally, Egypt, Lebanon reopen airports 


tiamin rice

Egypt and Lebanon on Wednesday reopened their airports to resume international flights after over three months of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

EgyptAir, the national carrier of Egypt, said in a statement it will operate 14 international regular flights to transport around 2,000 passengers.

“The first regular flight took-off from the Cairo International Airport bound for Tunisia at 8:30 am (06:30 GMT),’’ it added.

The company earlier said it would resume operations gradually, starting with flights to and from 29 destinations.

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The country closed its airports in March in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Egypt, a country of almost 100 million people, is struggling to contain the economic fallout from the pandemic amid resurgence in virus cases.

In Lebanon, Beirut’s Rafik Hariri airport, the country’s only international airport reopened at ten per cent capacity.

“The airport will receive 2,000 to 3,000 travellers per day at this stage,’’ an official at the facility said.

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The Lebanese government has said that passengers arriving from countries not conducting coronavirus tests will be tested upon arrival.

The Lebanese government is hoping the reopening will encourage expatriates to travel home during the holiday season and pump much-needed foreign currency into the country’s economy.

Lebanon is suffering the worst economic crisis since the 1975 to 1990 civil war.

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The Lebanese pound has lost some 80 percent of its value against the dollar since October, when protests against the ruling class erupted in the country.

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