In line with worldwide measures progressively lifting COVID-19 related restrictions, the Egyptian government has decided to lift all constraints pertaining to travel to the country for both nationals and foreigners.
The decision, taken by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and the Supreme Committee for the Management of Pandemics, was announced on Thursday. Nonetheless, it remains unclear as to when it would come into effect, Ahram Online reports.
Prior, travelers to Egypt needed to prove an accredited vaccination status, digitized or paper, or conduct a PCR test 72 hours prior traveling.
The Middle East’s most populous country suffered heavy losses from the two-year pandemic which set back its tourism, a key sector which supports the Egyptian economy. The country’s most famed spots, from Khan El Khalili to the antiquities sites as well as popular seaside resorts saw a financially-dry period rivaled only by the 2011 revolution.
For the last two years, it has prioritized COVID-19 vaccinations, reaching 85 million thus far, as well as gradually improving its economy.
Despite being one of the few countries to have maintained a positive GDP growth rate in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country external debt rose to USD 145.52 billion in December 202, up from USD 137.42 billion in September 2021, according to the Central Bank of Egypt’s ‘External Position of the Egyptian Economy’ report.
Rising prices, interest rates, devaluation of the Egyptian pounds, and inflation have contributed to a strongly felt economical pinch for many, heightened further by the Ukraine-Russian war which now threatens the country’s wheat supply.
As such, Egypt is pushing to reinstate and revitalize its multifaceted tourism sector with the opening of new airports, museums, as well as announcing several archaeological discoveries.
Speaking to Daily News Egypt, Said Al-Batouty, a UNWTO Economic Adviser, member of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, and board member of the German Travel Association, stated that Egypt is expected to attract about 7.5m million tourists, many of which hailing from Germany as to compensate for tourism from Russia and Ukraine.
Main image courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities.