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Russia Lifts 2015 Ban on Flights to Egyptian Red Sea Resorts

Russia Lifts 2015 Ban on Flights to Egyptian Red Sea Resorts

Inns and cafeterias lining the Red Sea in Dahab. Credit: Katia Vastiau

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision on July 8 to overturn a 2015 decree banning charter flights to Egyptian resorts. This decision ends a six-year hiatus on travel for Russian tourists.

In a statement, Egypt affirmed that this decision reflects the growing strength of Egyptian-Russian relations, and expressed its readiness to receive Russian tourists at Egyptian resorts.

A statement by the Kremlin also confirmed that Russia withdrew its recommendation against selling tours to Egyptian red sea resorts.

Russia previously banned air travel to Egypt in 2015 after a terrorist bomb crashed a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula and killed all 224 people on board.

After resuming direct flights to Cairo in 2018, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Russian President Putin agreed during a call on April 23 to resume flights to Egypt’s Red Sea resort towns.

To maintain safety precautions and protect visitors from the COVID-19 virus, Ministry of Health announced earlier in June that Egypt has fully vaccinated staff in key resorts and hotels in the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates to prepare to receive tourists in the summer.

The vaccine is also available in medical units, mobile medical clinics, and medical centers inside hotels to ensure full vaccination of all new visitors and staff, and are provided to foreign residents in Egypt upon their request.

In June 2020, Egypt joined a list of 100 countries around the world after it received the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council due to its effective adoption of a wide range of hygiene and safety measures to curb the spread of the virus in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

To visit Egypt, travelers must carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate from their country issued up to 72 or 96 hours prior to the time of departure.

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