Egypt’s health ministry has issued new regulations for people arriving in the country who are vaccinated against COVID-19, including cruise tourists.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health said that arrivals with vaccination certificates from countries impacted by new strains of the coronavirus must follow a new set of procedures on entry into Egypt.
The new procedures affect any passengers who have been in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brazil, or Latin America 14 days prior to their arrival in Egypt.
They will need to have their vaccination certificates inspected by officials, which will likely create delays when trying to disembark, or get through the airport, as the new rules apply to all tourists.
Vaccination certificates must be issued by approved laboratories in their origin countries and should not be modified in any way. Valid certificates must also bear a QR code for verification purposes.
These passengers will also need to undergo a rapid PCR test on arrival in Egypt. If they test positive for COVID-19 they will be transferred to a medical facility as a precaution, although the Ministry didn’t say whether this would incur an additional cost.
All other passengers will still need to present an unmodified vaccination certificate bearing a QR code issued byan approved laboratory. Egypt permits entry to vaccinated travelers who have received their second dose of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel.
The vaccines accepted by Egypt include all of those approved by the World Health Organization and the Egyptian Medicines Authority, such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik.
Passengers must have had their second doses of a vaccine 14 days before arrival in Egypt or 14 days after their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine.
Any travelers who do not possess a vaccination certificate must submit a negative PCR result on arrival.
Egypt was just beginning to re-emerge as a cruise destination following the unrest brought about by the so-called Arab Spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire cruise industry to a standstill for much of 2020.
Several cruise lines will be calling in Egypt this year, however, including Norwegian Jade on her cruise from Athens to Dubai, and Silver Shadow and Silver Moon on their cruises from Athens to Dubai.
Most notable is MSC Magnifica, which will be calling Safaga every week on her 7-night roundtrip cruises out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the first cruise line in the world ever to spend a full winter season cruising in the Red Sea.
Port Said is also a growing cruise port, with the Greek cruise line Celestyal Cruises calling weekly throughout November and December this year on her 7-night Mediterranean cruises out of Cyprus and Greece.