Official Travel Advice for Egypt
Summary & Terrorism section – you should avoid crowded places and gatherings, for example, in or around religious sites and during religious festivals such as the month of Ramadan and the Christmas period up to 7 January (Coptic Christmas), when terrorist groups have sometimes called for attacks
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 18 Mar 2018.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- the Governorate of North Sinai due to the significant increase in criminal activity and continued terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:
the Governorate of South Sinai, with the exception of the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq; however, we advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh;
the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh (as shown on the map).
There may be protests and demonstrations in some Middle Eastern and North African countries following the US announcement on the status of Jerusalem. You should avoid any demonstrations and follow instructions of the local police authorities.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt. You should be vigilant at all times, avoid crowded places and follow the advice of the Egyptian authorities and your travel company, if you have one.
You should avoid crowded places and gatherings, eg, in or around religious sites and during religious festivals, such as the month of Ramadan and the Christmas period up to 7 January (Coptic Christmas), when terrorist groups have sometimes called for attacks. Take extra care over local holiday weekends, as some terrorist attacks have occurred during these times. You can find a list of local holidays on the website of the British Embassy in Cairo.
On 24 November 2017, an attack on a mosque in North Sinai killed over 300 civilians.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attacks targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt. On 26 May 2017, gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Minya province, upper Egypt killing 30 people. Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.
A state of emergency is in effect in Egypt, imposed after 2 explosions on 9 April 2017 (Palm Sunday) in Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, which killed at least 44 people. Daesh claimed responsibility for these attacks. The state of emergency has been extended a number of times, most recently on 13 October 2017 by 3 months.
There have been threats to western nationals, institutions, and businesses posted on websites and social media. The main threat to foreigners is from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai. See Terrorism
There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures which restrict electronic devices on-board planes, have been in place on flights departing from Egypt to the UK since March. You should co-operate fully with security officials. For more information about how this may affect your flight, including if you’re transiting through Egypt on the way to the UK, read this guidance page and contact your airline or travel company if you have further questions.
Around 231,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2016. Most visits are trouble-free. There is no FCO advice against travel to Cairo, Alexandria, the tourist areas along the Nile river (including Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings) and the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.
As a precautionary measure, we are advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. On 31 October 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai.
Egyptian and Russian authorities are conducting an investigation. The investigation has not yet formally concluded, but on 17 November 2015 Russian authorities stated that the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the flight.
We have not raised the threat level in the resort. The above advice applies only to air travel to and from Sharm el Sheikh.
We will continue working with the Egyptian authorities to enable regular flights between the UK and Sharm el Sheikh to resume. We are also liaising with travel companies so that they are able to resume flights and holidays in Sharm el Sheikh as soon as appropriate security arrangements are in place.
The Egyptian authorities have announced the suspension of diplomatic relations with Qatar. All air and sea points of entry between Egypt and Qatar have been closed. If you have a query relating to your travel plans you should contact your airline or tour operator.
To contact the emergency services call 122 (police), 123 (ambulance) or 180 (fire). If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Egypt
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 9,497,000 in 2011
Cairo (also largest city)
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Population: 9,120,350 (in 2011)