Foreign travel advice

Egypt

Summary

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).

On 11 August 2017, two trains collided in Alexandria, killing at least 36. You should follow the advice of local security officials. If you’re in Alexandria and you need urgent help call +20 (0)2 27916000 or if you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Egypt, call 020 7008 1500.

On 14 July 2017, 2 foreign tourists were killed and several others injured following a knife attack at beach resorts in Hurghada. The attacker was arrested and Egyptian authorities are carrying out investigations.

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.

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.

On 9 April 2017 (Palm Sunday) explosions occurred in Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, killing at least 44 people. Daesh claimed responsibility for these attacks. On 9 April 2017, President Sisi announced a 3-month state of emergency.

You should remain vigilant at all times and follow the advice of local security officials, including in and around religious sites and during religious festivals (including the holy month of Ramadan) when terrorist groups sometimes call 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

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 are not raising 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.

Around 231,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2016. Most visits are trouble-free.

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.

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.

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.