Thousands of Libyans to return home from abroad after closure of borders: official

Misrata International Airport, (MRA/HLMS), Libya
Misrata International Airport, (MRA/HLMS), Libya

Thousands of Libyans will start returning home from abroad after the UN-backed Libyan government closed the borders in March to prevent COVID-19 spread, an official said Tuesday.

“The return of the Libyans stranded abroad will start with the first two flights of Libyan Airlines and African Airlines from Misurata International Airport, where 340 in Turkey will be returned,” Hisham Boshkewat, undersecretary of the Ministry of Transportation, told Xinhua.

“The return of the stranded Libyans in Turkey will continue until early next week. After that, the Libyans stranded in Tunisia will start returning, and then from the Arab Republic of Egypt and the rest of the other countries,” Bushkewat added.

The Libyan official confirmed that the return of thousands of Libyans from abroad via an air bridge will be done after carrying out COVID-19 tests and a-14-day quarantine abroad.

The UN-backed government announced later in April that 15,000 Libyans stranded abroad will be brought home after completion of COVID-19 tests.

Closing the borders is among a series of protective measures taken by the UN-backed Libyan government against COVID-19, which also include banning public gatherings, closing schools and mosques, and imposing a curfew.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya so far is 63, including 24 recoveries and three deaths, according to the National Center for Disease Control. Enditem