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WATCH: Egypt disinfects the Pyramids of Giza to halt the spread of coronavirus

There are currently over 488,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the world and over 22,000 deaths. Egypt has 456 cases and only four deaths as the coronavirus crisis continues to impact countries all around the world.

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The Egyptian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus.

On March 19, the Egyptian authorities announced the suspension of international flights.

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And now, to halt the spread even further, the pyramids are being disinfected.

It is one of the latest moves made by the government.

Egypt has also imposed a nightly curfew for the next two weeks, as well as closing schools and stopping flights into the country other than those returning from abroad.

From March 23 to March 31, all archaeological sites in the country have been told to shut shop to halt the virus further.

Some of the sites include the Egyptian museum in Cairo to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor which are huge tourist traps that bring in money to the country.

The world’s oldest colossal stone building the Pyramid of Djoser only reopened at the beginning of March but has now been closed again.

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Now that all the popular tourist sites are empty, they are undergoing a deep clean.

Videos online show cleaners wearing masks and hazmat-looking suits using industrial sterilisation equipment to clean parts of the pyramids.

The clean includes entrances to the pyramids, the ticket offices and the nearby roads to be make sure there is no risk of spreading the virus when they reopen.

However, reportedly the actual pyramids themselves are not being cleaned, according to the New York Times.

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Director general of the pyramids Ashraf Mohie El-Din explained why cleaning the pyramids themselves was more complex than most people realise.

Cleaning the ancient structures requires “specific materials” and a specialised team of excavators.”

He said: “We started the first phase of disinfection, and there are other phases.

“We are in the process of disinfecting all tourist sites, though the artefacts themselves require specific materials and (cleaning) must be carried out by a specialised team of excavators.

“We are making use of this period to sanitise the entire area, but also to carry out some maintenance work and renovation to have this area ready to accept visitors again.”

Most of the cases of the coronavirus in Egypt were linked to a cruise ship on the River Nile – the longest river in the world.

The cruise liner saw both foreign passengers and local crew tested positive.

The deadly virus has dealt a huge blow to the country’s crucial tourism sector.

There are currently virtual tours of the Pyramids and other landmarks available on Google Arts & Culture if you want to checkout the historical structures from home.

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Travel

How many flights are still running for Britons stuck in New Zealand? Full list

In a bid to protect its citizens, New Zealand has become the latest country to declare a month-long lockdown which will begin on Wednesday night. The move will see the entire country forced to remain in their homes apart from those working in essential services. The country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern said in an address to the nation that she was not willing to put the lives of her citizens in danger.

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But the urgency to stop the spread of the virus could see many Britons trapped in New Zealand for the foreseeable future.

Here is a list of flights from some of the biggest names in the airline industry.

If your flight is cancelled it is advised that you contact the airline operating your journey for information on how you can get a refund.

Most carriers are updating affected passengers in due course.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand’s latest announcement says that they will be adding more domestic flights in the next 24 hours to support people wanting to return home safely.

The announcement says on their website: “As a result of the latest Government announcement, we are working on adding more domestic flights in the next 24 hours to support our customers to safely return home.

“We will update you shortly. Thank you for patience and support.”

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However, their website also says that the New Zealand government is recommending everyone travelling in New Zealand should consider returning home.

If there is no option to return home and Air New Zealand cannot assist then they recommend contacting the “national consulate or embassy in the country you are in”.

The nation has further strengthened its travel restrictions and has closed the border to almost all travellers, apart from New Zealanders.

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Qatar Airways

The airline has said that all customers affected by the current situation who have booked their ticket via a travel agency are advised to get a refund or rebook.

All tickets until June 30 will be affected for travel on or before that date.

The airline has had an unprecedented amount of people contacting them with enquiries.

They posted on Twitter: “If you are trying to contact us, we hugely appreciate your patience and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

“Unprecedented call volumes and closure of call centres due to global government restrictions is limiting our capacity to respond as usual.

“Please bear with us.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said that a number of international flights to and from New Zealand have been suspended.

The FCO is advising British Nationals already in New Zealand to contact their airline, travel provider, and insurance company for the latest information.

They also said that those who want to return to the UK soon should take account of the fast moving situation and plan accordingly.

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Travel

Coronavirus in UAE: Is it safe to travel to UAE? Are there still flights?

Holidays seem to be off the table for the foreseeable future. UK nationals have been told to stay indoors for 14 days if they are experiencing symptoms, or those they live with are. Most people are working from home, and movement outside of our homes is extremely limited. But what about the UAE? Are flights still running from the UK to the UAE? Express.co.uk has all the information you need on the coronavirus situation in the UAE.

Is it safe to travel to the UAE?

Yesterday the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a warning to British nationals due to travel to Dubai and the UAE.

The FCO is advising all British nationals against all but essential international travel for the next 30 days at least- however there is no official statement warning against going to the UAE.

Most visitors will not be able to get a visa and so won’t be able to enter the UAE anyway.

The FCO said: “From 19 March, the UAE will temporarily suspend all visas on arrival with the exception of Diplomatic passport holders.”

The warning continued: ““Those who enter the country may be tested on arrival and/or be required to self-isolate.

“Ordinarily, if you’re travelling on a British Citizen passport, you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE. This visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days.

“The visa terminates automatically on departure and a new visa is issued on arrival each time the visitor returns to the UAE. Please check with your carrier before travel.”

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What if I am already in the UAE?

If you are already in the UAE before March 19, you can extend your visa twice without leaving the country.

Of course, you would have to pay to do this.

Each extension is for an additional 30 days.

What do I do if I have a trip to the UAE booked?

Flights are still operating to the UAE, so you’re unlikely to get your money back if you don’t go.

You will only get your money back if the FCO advice changes to advise against going to the UAE.

The latest FCO statement reads:

“If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps,”

The steps are as follows:

  • Contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
  • Get in touch with your insurance provider
  • Continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance.

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