Lebanon announced it will be reopening its airport by the first week of July at most, according to Lebanese Transportation Minister Michel Najjar.
The aim is to improve the economy, which has been suffering the consequences of both the pandemic and the dollar crisis.
It has been months since Lebanon’s only airport, Rafik Hariri International in Beirut, opened only for repatriation flights, military, and cargo.
The airport was supposed to open on June 8th, but the date got postponed until June 21st. However, due to surge in infections -mainly a result of returning citizens’ failure to self-quarantine- the reopening has been pushed back again.
During a meeting on Tuesday, June 9th, Prime Minister Hassan Diab stated that Lebanon will work to resume flights to the Arabian Gulf countries, which contribute largely to Lebanon’s tourism sector.
As a safety precaution, Diab also stated that the focus will be on countries conducting PCR tests to detect possible infections.
In addition, the airport will “operate at a reduced capacity of between 10 and 20 percent – equating to some 2,000 to 3,000 daily passengers,” the transportation minister told Al Jazeera.
“What is important for us today is to put Lebanon back on the tourism map while balancing health protection and tourism in order to revive the economy,” PM Diab said, The Daily Star reported.
We have a dedicated coronavirus section where you can find the latest news/updates about the pandemic in Lebanon, inform yourself with WHO-verified resources, and track the number of cases in Lebanon in real-time. Click here.