Lebanon to reopen Beirut airport July 1

Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, which grounded flights March 18, will reopen next month with reduced air traffic.

al-monitor Beirut's international airport is seen as Lebanon shuts down the facility after declaring a medical state of emergency as part of the preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus, March 18, 2020.  Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir.

Jun 12, 2020

Lebanon will reopen its international airport in Beirut for commercial flights July 1 but with reduced air traffic, the office of Prime Minister Hassan Diab said today. 

Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport has been closed to flights since March 18 to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. Beginning next month, the airport will operate at 10% capacity compared with last year’s air traffic. Private flights out of the airport can resume June 24. 

Lebanon’s public works minister had previously said the airport would reopen June 21. 

Upon arrival in Lebanon, passengers will be tested for COVID-19 and those who test positive will be required to home quarantine.  

The arrival of expats and tourists to Lebanon next month comes as health officials continue to register new cases of the coronavirus. The country has recorded 1,422 cases and 31 deaths.  

Lebanon is dealing with the virus amid a deepening financial crisis that sent the currency’s value plunging to unprecedented lows.

The reopening of Beirut’s airport in July comes as other countries in the region ease restrictions on air travel. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia resumed domestic flights in early June, and Dubai-based carrier Emirates is now operating passenger flights to nine destinations in North America, Europe and Australia.

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