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Thursday, 19 August 2021

Say it isn’t so, part II

Benefits of the return of Russian tourists will be muted — for now, says Capital Economics: While the return of direct flights between Russia and Egypt’s resorts will give Egypt’s tourism some much needed reprieve, any economic benefits from the move “will be limited,” Capital Economics said in a report out this week.

Capital Economics’ reasoning? Russia’s covid restrictions: Russia still has restrictions put in place that require unvaccinated travellers to quarantine and isolate while awaiting PCR tests. While these restrictions don’t necessarily target Egypt, they would discourage unvaccinated tourists from traveling, notes the report.

Then there’s Egypt’s vaccination program, which Capital Economics calls “one of the slowest in the world” with less than 4% of the population having been vaccinated. This will leave Egypt vulnerable to fresh outbreaks of the virus, particularly if greater international travel increases the risk of importing the more transmissible Delta variant.

While these points do explain why Egypt is still in the UK’s Red List, we’re not sure they have it right when it comes to the Ruskies. Prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin lifting the six-year flight ban a Russian delegation carried out health checks in airports and hotels in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. Earlier this week, Russia’s covid committee tripled the number of flights to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada starting 27 August to 15 flights per week.

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