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Algeria Exempts Travelers from Mandatory Quarantine

July 29, 2021

Algerian authorities said they have lifted a five-day mandatory quarantine imposed on arriving travelers despite a spike in daily COVID-19 infections, AFP reported.

'Upon the instructions of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, travelers are exempted from a five-day quarantine,' said Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane in a note addressed to the government.

The note dated July 25 stipulates that travelers present a negative PCR test issued in less than 36 hours and undergo a rapid test on arrival.

The North African country reopened air borders on June 1, but it required that passengers arriving in Algeria quarantine for five days at a government-selected hotel, and the quarantine would be extended to 10 days for those who test positive for COVID-19 at the end of the first five days.

The measures had angered Algerian expatriates, who were requested to pay for the hotel expenses. Comments posted by travelers on their social media accounts also revealed criticism on the bad conditions in some hotels, which Algerian authorities had chosen for them.

The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday a surge in daily infections with 1,544 new coronavirus cases, 728 recoveries and 25 deaths over the last 24 hours.

Also, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Waqf announced in a statement a series of measures related to the partial lockdown decided in 35 provinces of the country, consisting mainly in the suspension of collective prayers in mosques.

The North African country had closed its borders in March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic spread. It resumed domestic flights in December last year.

Algeria, the most populous country in the Maghreb with its 44 million inhabitants, has officially recorded more than 163,000 cases, including more than 4,000 deaths.

The Pasteur Institute of Algeria announced last Sunday on its Facebook page that the Delta variant represents 71 percent of COVID-19 cases and could reach 90 percent in the coming weeks.