Health Ministry: Sinai border crossing can be open for Israeli travelers

Travelers will be expected to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their return.

WHAT IS thought to be Mount Sinai today, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
WHAT IS thought to be Mount Sinai today, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Health Ministry announced Sunday that the Sinai border crossing between Israel and Egypt could open to Israeli travelers, as long as these travelers respect the 14-day quarantine period upon their return.
So far, less than 100,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Egypt, with a population of 100 million (the rate is similar to Israel) and the Egyptian morbidity rate, reported to be 5.5%, about one-tenth of Israel's, was said to be decreasing in August.
The Sinai is divided into two parts, northern and southern. On the southern part, characterized by its touristic beaches, the Egyptian administration has declared it a "coronavirus-free" territory. In practice, there are only a few cases reported, and they are geographically spread.
The Egyptian government is transmitting tough enforcement of anti-infection procedures. However, it is not known exactly what the situation is, but it is clear that the administration is interested in keeping these places corona-free because they are an important source of income.
It is doubtful whether Egypt's official data faithfully reflects the morbidity picture in the country, especially in light of the low testing rate and the high lethality rate. The possibility of under-diagnosis and under-reporting by Egypt cannot be ruled out.
In addition, Egypt is not a green country, therefore, every passenger returning from this country is required to have 14 days of quarantine, a requirement that greatly reduces the possibility of creating infection chains as a result of tourists returning from this country. In this sense, the situation is no different from in any other country to which Israelis are travelling.
It should be emphasized that in the current situation, there is no impediment to leaving and returning to Israel after a stay in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula through indirect flights.
The position of the Health Ministry is that it is possible to allow the opening of the border crossing with Sinai to Israeli passengers, subject to compliance with the rules of the Health Ministry, including a ban on public transportation to quarantine, except for taxis.