Egypt to allow vaccinated travelers entry without PCR test

An Egyptian Quarantine Authority employee holds out a health form to be filled in by incoming travellers at Cairo International Airport on February 1, 2020, amidst efforts to detect possible cases of SARS-like "Wuhan coronavirus" (novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV). (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Egypt will allow travelers who have taken full doses of approved novel coronavirus vaccines to enter without taking a PCR test, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Travelers must present QR-coded certificates that they have received their full doses of one of six COVID-19 vaccines approved by Egypt and the WHO at least two weeks before their arrival.

Those from countries impacted by coronavirus variants will be subject to a rapid test upon arrival, while all non-vaccinated travelers must present a PCR test.

On Thursday, Egypt reported 466 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 278,761. However, officials and experts say the real number of infections is far higher but is not reflected in government figures because of low testing rates and the exclusion of private test results.

Egypt lifted many restrictions at the beginning of the month and is hoping to attract visitors this year as tourism usually accounts for 15% of its gross domestic product.