Middle East

Egypt to test visitors from countries with COVID-19 variants on arrival

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A worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Hurghada International Airport in Hurghada, Egypt, June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO, May 8 (Reuters) - Egypt will require all visitors arriving from "countries where variants of the virus have appeared" to take a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival, its health ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement did not specify the countries from which passengers would take the 15-minute DNA test, called ID NOW.

Egypt's new coronavirus cases have been steadily rising in recent weeks. On Saturday it reported 1,125 new cases and 65 deaths, although experts say that reflects only a fraction of total cases.

In a statement on Saturday, Egypt's tourism ministry clarified that restaurants and coffee shops attached to hotels were exempt from a recent decree that such outlets as well as malls and stores would close at 9 p.m. local time (GMT +2) in order to not affect tourism.

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Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad, writing by Nafisa Eltahir; editing by Jason Neely

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