Important COVID-19 travel guidance
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England, Scotland, or Wales, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.
If you are legally permitted to travel, check our advice for the country you are visiting. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning. Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self-isolate.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all travel to:
- the Governorate of North Sinai.
The FCDO continues to advise against all but essential travel to:
- the Governorate of South Sinai beyond the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier.
- the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh.
- the remainder of Egypt based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks
Travel to Egypt is subject to entry restrictions
- The Egyptian authorities have advised that all arrivals into Egypt will be subject to health measures.
- Passengers will be required to complete a monitoring card with personal details, and will need to provide confirmation of valid health insurance policy to airport authorities.
- From 1 September, all persons (including those who hold Egyptian nationality) arriving from overseas to any part of Egypt will be required to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival. The Egyptian authorities have advised that PCR tests must be conducted no more than 72 hours prior to flight departure.
- Passengers arriving from London Heathrow only are permitted to have their PCR test conducted no more than 96 hours prior to flight departure. Children under the age of 6 are exempt. You should check with your airline to confirm time frames for undertaking PCR tests and what proof of testing needs to be presented before you travel.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Egypt , find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
An estimated 476,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2019. Most visits are trouble free.
Following the attack on the coalition base at Taji in Iraq on 11 March, and subsequent US airstrikes, tensions may be raised across the region. There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt. There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
Although most attacks occur in North Sinai, there is a risk of terrorist attacks across the country. Attacks could be indiscriminate, affecting Egyptian security forces, religious sites, large public gatherings and places visited by foreigners. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in or around religious sites and during religious festivals, such as the month of Ramadan and the Christmas period (including Coptic Christmas), when terrorist groups have sometimes called for attacks. Terrorist attacks have occurred over local holiday weekends. Terrorists have attacked tourists in Egypt in the past. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks targeting Coptic Christians from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai in Egypt.
You should follow the advice of Egyptian authorities, remaining particularly vigilant and maintaining a high level of security awareness in crowded places and at large gatherings. You can find a list of public holidays on the British Embassy Cairo website. The authorities in Egypt maintain a significant security presence across the country, including armed security officers stationed at important sites, critical infrastructure, and road checkpoints. Extra measures are in place at tourist sites. See Terrorism
Following the crash of a St Petersburg-bound flight in North Sinai in October 2015, direct flights between the UK and Sharm el Sheikh were suspended. The UK government has worked with Egyptian authorities to enable flights to resume, and on 22 October 2019 the restrictions were lifted. You should check with your airline or tour operator for information on services.
There remains a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation in Egypt. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports. See Terrorism and Air travel
British passport holders travelling to Egypt normally need a visa. See Visas
The Egyptian authorities have suspended diplomatic relations with Qatar. 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. Consular support is severely limited in parts of Egypt where we advise against all travel and limited where we advise against all but essential travel.