Repatriation flights bringing stranded Egyptians back home from abroad will be suspended during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, local media has reported.
The step has been taken as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) through travellers returning from abroad.
Egypt is expected to receive the last remaining flight on Saturday before the beginning of the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Local media quoted sources saying that the Ministry of Aviation is expected to resume operating the special repatriation flights after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
On Friday, two flights coming from Dubai with a number of Egyptian nationals on board who had been stranded in the UAE arrived at Cairo International Airport.
Also on Friday, Marsa Alam International Airport received three flights, including two from Jeddah, and one flight from Riyadh. On board were 415 Egyptian passengers on board, with the returnees to be subject to quarantine in a Marsa Alam hotel.
On Friday evening, 610 Egyptians returning from abroad arrived at quarantine facilities in university dorms for female students at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia.
On Saturday, Cairo International Airport also received an exceptional flight carrying 80 Egyptians from Lebanese capital, Beirut. The passengers had been stranded there since Egypt suspended international flights at all its airports in March, as part of the state’s plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Also on Saturday, the Council of Ministers’ Media Center published the second part of a video showing state efforts to evacuate all stranded citizens abroad.
Egypt is expected to receive the last stranded Egyptians coming from the UAE also on Saturday, according to Haitham Saad El Din, spokesperson for the Ministry of Manpower.
He added that, over the past few days, 11 exceptional flights have taken off from Dubai International Airport, carrying nearly 2,500 Egyptians.
In an official statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said 135 special flights operated by EgyptAir and Air Cairo had repatriated 24,750 citizens in two phases from 20 March to 21 May.
The country heightened its efforts to bring citizens home before the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, which begins on Saturday.
Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar Enabah said the flights were operated under cabinet direction. They occurred in cooperation with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs, and Health, as well as other relevant state authorities.