Simon Calder talks about new traffic light changes to travel
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Egypt has been on the UK’s travel red list for months, meaning holidays have been off the table for Britons. In a breakthrough for the nation, from Wednesday, September 22, the nation will move onto the UK’s amber list for travel.
With that will come a new set of rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated Britons, and the elimination of hotel quarantine for arrivals.
The decision was announced last week by Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.
The Transport Secretary also announced further plans to streamline the UK’s traffic light travel system in October, blending the green and amber list together in order to “simplify” international jaunts for vaccinated people.
What are the rules for UK travellers hoping to visit Egypt?
International flights are permitted to land in Egypt.
According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), UK travellers can visit the nation as long as they have evidence of a negative coronavirus PCR test.
The travel authority explains: “From September 1, 2020, all persons (including those who hold Egyptian nationality) arriving from overseas, to any part of Egypt, will be required to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival, and an indication of when the test was taken.
“The Egyptian authorities have advised that PCR tests must be conducted no more than 72 hours prior to flight departure. Passengers arriving from London Heathrow only are permitted to have their PCR test conducted no more than 96 hours prior to flight departure.”
Children under the age of six are exempt from providing negative PCR test certificates.
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NHS testing services should not be used to facilitate travel. Instead, holidaymakers should pre-book and pay for a private PCR test.
The FCDO warns: “COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice. You should check with your airline to confirm specific requirements, including around PCR tests, well in advance of travel.”
Those travelling to the coastal regions of the Red Sea (Hurghada), South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh), and Marsa Matrouh, who are unable to provide evidence of a negative PCR test will be required to test on arrival.
This will be at the expense of the traveller and is estimated to cost around £21.96.
The FCDO states: “After testing you will be required to self-isolate at your hotel until you receive your test result.
“The Egyptian authorities will be in touch and will advise whether you need to continue self-isolating. Test results are expected to become available within 12-24 hours.”
Those who test positive will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in a designated quarantine hotel room in your hotel. This is likely to be private from other members of your party.
What are the rules for UK travellers returning from Egypt?
Once Egypt moves to the amber list on September 22, vaccinated people will be able to enter the UK without quarantine.
They must have been fully vaccinated with a jab approved and administered by the UK, European Union (EU) or the US.
In the 72 hours before departure, travellers will be required to take a coronavirus test in order to facilitate their journey to the UK.
They must also pre-book and pay for a PCR test to be taken on day two of their arrival, the details of which should be included on a passenger locator form.
Unvaccinated arrivals still face 10 days of quarantine when entering the UK from Egypt.
Along with a pre-departure and day two PCR test, they must also book and pay for a day eight PCR test.
What is the COVID-19 situation in Egypt right now?
According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), as of September 16, 2021, Egypt recorded 5,058 cases during the previous 14-day period.
Reuters reports that Egypt is seeing an increase in Covid cases, with 594 cases reported daily as of September 21, 2021.
Reuters adds: “Egypt has administered at least 12,964,351 doses of Covid vaccines so far.
“Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 6.5 percent of the country’s population.”
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