Egypt to halt flights from Thursday to stem spread of coronavirus

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt will halt all air site visitors at its airports from Thursday till March 31 to stop the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stated on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Tourists take Luxor-bound EgyptAir flight from Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

Egypt will sanitize resorts and vacationer websites in the course of the closure, he stated in a information convention, including that vacationers now within the nation would have the ability to full their holidays.

Madbouly stated Egypt’s strategic reserves of key commodities would final for months and there was no want for individuals to fill up.

He stated native corporations within the aviation sector would undergo losses of 2.25 billion Egyptian kilos ($143 million) due to the most recent measures. The final airplane allowed to depart would depart on Thursday, March 19, at midday.

Tourism is a key sector for probably the most populous Arab nation. Tourism income rose to a file excessive of $12.57 billion within the monetary yr that led to July.

Revenue continued to rise within the July-Sept quarter, the most recent knowledge printed by the central financial institution, to $four.19 billion, the nation’s greatest quarter ever.

Egypt closed colleges and universities for 2 weeks on Sunday to stop the spread of coronavirus. The quantity of circumstances rose to 150, data minister Osama Haikal stated on Monday, up from 126 reported by Sunday. Two individuals have died.

Analysts have hailed Egypt for reforms tied to a $12 billion mortgage program with the International Monetary Fund agreed in 2016, which included devaluing the forex by about half, reducing power subsidies and introducing a value-added tax.

Analysts say the spread of the virus makes Egypt, with its giant tourism business, weak. A world commerce downturn may additionally damage Suez canal revenues, which got here to $5.7 billion in 2019.

Lower oil costs will doubtless be impartial, since Egypt’s invoice for hydrocarbon imports, at $15.5 billion, is nearly equal to what it earns from exports, primarily pure fuel.

Worker remittances value $25 billion yearly may fall if Gulf nations, the largest employer of expatriate Egyptians, reduce tasks.

Several Gulf oil producers have halted or restricted worldwide passenger flights to fight coronavirus.

Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, Moamen Saeed Atallah and Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alex Richardson and David Clarke

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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