Vaccinated Passengers Can Now Submit an Antigen Test upon Arrival in Beirut, Says Health Minister

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Vaccinated Passengers Can Now Submit an Antigen Test upon Arrival in Beirut, Says Health Minister

Health Minister Firass Abiad announced on Thursday that vaccinated travelers arriving at Beirut International Airport can now show negative results from an antigen test carried out 24 hours before their departure. Unvaccinated passengers must still show a negative PCR test conducted 48 hours before their departure.

Here’s what we know:

    • "In order to limit the number of infections coming from abroad, a PCR test dated less than 48 hours before departure is required. Given the increased demand on PCR tests globally, this cannot be easily done," Abiad pointed out in a tweet. "The solution is for the vaccinated passengers to show a negative result of an antigen test carried out 24 hours before their departure."

    • The minister, however, did not specify how many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine passengers are supposed to have received before being exempt from the PCR test requirement.

    • Abiad, himself a doctor, also noted that the results of the PCR tests carried out on arrival at Beirut airport are generally sent to passengers late, but will soon be sent to travelers within 24 hours of their arrival. He also explained that the delay, which sometimes exceeds 48 hours, is due to the fact that "the data is manually filled in,” a problem which he plans to address by migrating the process onto the ministry’s MOPHPASS platform, making it completely electronic.

    • The health minister also tweeted about problems those with local bank cards have had trying to pay online for airport PCR tests, set at $30, on the ministry’s platform. He indicated that a solution will be presented today that should allow the use of local bank cards.

    • On Wednesday, the health minister revised isolation requirements for people with COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to the virus, following in the footsteps of various countries around the world. 

Source: L'Orient Today