- Title: Beirut airport reopens for first time since March
- Date: 1st July 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE COMMUNICATION ENGINEER ARRIVING FROM DUBAI, ROLAND DACCACHE, SAYING: "Honestly nothing can stop us from seeing our families, we wish we could come to Lebanon in better circumstances, but we must see our families, hopefully the second visit the situation is better." PASSENGERS ARRIVING PASSENGERS GATHERING AT DESK MEDICS RUNNING PCR CORONA VIRUS TEST ON PASSENGERS MORE OF PASSENGERS ARRIVING VARIOUS OF PASSENGERS AND JOURNALISTS GATHERING BANNER READING IN (English): "WELCOME TO LEBANON" LEBANESE OFFICIALS INCLUDING MINISTERS OF HEALTH AND TRANSPORTATION DURING A TOUR AT THE AIRPORT VARIOUS OF CABIN CREW ARRIVING AT SECURITY CHECKPOINT SIGN READING IN (Arabic; English; French): "PASSPORT CONTROL" VARIOUS OF SHOUTING BETWEEN AIRPORT SECURITY AND JOURNALISTS LEBANESE OFFICIALS INCLUDING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION LEAVING THE AIRPORT VARIOUS OF FAMILIES WAITING OUTSIDE THE AIRPORT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE ENGINEER ARRIVING FROM SAUDI ARABIA, FADI BATHISH, SAYING: "My family is living in Lebanon and I haven't seen them since December (2019), because of the lockdown and coronavirus. The situation is very bad, my children miss me. We want this country to be ok, we Lebanese suffered a lot, it's enough.'' VARIOUS OF AIRPORT WATCH TOWER AIRPORT ARRIVAL
- Embargoed: 15th July 2020 13:42
- Keywords: Beirut Airport Coronavirus Flights Lebanon
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA003CKZBY2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Lebanon's international airport reopened for commercial flights on Wednesday (July 1) for the first time since the government shut it down as part of its response to the spread of COVID-19.
The government had announced in June that it will be a phased reopening with only a 10 percent passenger activity allowed at first compared to what it was the same time last year.
Passengers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and obliged to practice home quarantine if testing positive.
Lebanon is witnessing its worst ever financial crisis with the local currency sliding rapidly amid uncertainty over whether can be bailed out.
Nevertheless some were happy to be coming back.
"My family is living in Lebanon and I haven't seen them since December (2019), because of the lockdown and coronavirus. The situation is very bad, my children miss me. We want this country to be ok, we Lebanese suffered a lot, it's enough,'' said returning engineer Fadi Bathish.
As the passengers began trickling back, officials including the Minister of Health and Minister of Transportation visited the airport and were preparing to give statements to the media but their statements were cut short when airport security and local journalists began to argue.
(Production: Issam Abdallah, Ayat Basma)
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