Egypt’s Continuing Protests Increase Travel Concerns

UK travel advisory for the Arab Republic of Egypt updated to allow flights to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s government has detained more than 4,300 people since September 2019, in response to a wave of protests, reported the Wall Street Journal on October 26, 2019.

According to Amnesty International statements, ‘the vast scale of the arrests is a clear indicator of how unnerved the Egyptian authorities are feeling about the prospect of further protests.’

And, Egypt’s interior ministry told the AP News on October 22nd, that ‘surveys indicate that a vast majority of Egyptian women feel insecure in the streets.’

These protests may be impacting Egypt’s tourism, since the Cairo International Airport is the 2nd busiest airport in Africa, servicing about 15 million tourists annually.

Cairo International is an important airport, as it serves as the primary hub for several airlines, such as EgyptAir, EgyptAir Express and Nile Air.

Recently, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its Travel Advisory for Egypt on October 22, 2019, saying they no longer advise against all but essential travel by air to/from Sharm el Sheikh, which is an Egyptian resort town between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea.

The UK’s Department for Transport had implemented a travel ban in November 2015 at the “start of a winter season" that was expected to see 500,000 British tourists.

In the updated Travel Advisory, the UK’s FCO continues to advise against ‘all’ travel to the Governorate of North Sinai.

And, the FOC advises against all but ‘essential’ travel to:

  • the Governorate of South Sinai, except 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
  • the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh.

The UK’s FOC says ‘If you become aware of any nearby protests, marches or demonstrations you should move away from the immediate area as the atmosphere could change quickly and without warning.’

‘Foreigners engaging in any form of political activity or activities critical of the government may be at risk of detention or other measures.’

And, for the latest requirements on crossing from Egypt to Gaza, delivering aid or entering for humanitarian purposes, you should contact the Egyptian Embassy in London.

The US Department of State last updated its Level 2 Travel Advisory for the Arab Republic of Egypt on July 2, 2019. But, the US Embassy in Egypt issued a notice on September 27, 2019, regarding potential demonstrations and reminded U.S. citizen visitors and residents, to avoid areas of demonstrations or police activity.

If you decide to visit Egypt, the US Department of State suggests the following preventive actions:

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • The US Embassy in Cairo is located at Consular Section, 5 Tawfik Diab Street, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt. Telephone: (20-2) 2797 3300.

Regarding Egypt’s health's risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services published a Federal Register Notice on May 10, 2019, titled, “Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from Egypt,” related to rabies.

Rabies is fatal in both humans and animals, and the importation of even one rabid dog could result in extensive transmission to others. This notice temporarily suspended the importation of:

  • Dogs from Egypt
  • Dogs originating in Egypt that are imported from third-party countries, if the dogs have lived in those countries for less than 5 months

Furthermore, the CDC suggested on August 2, 2019, that visitors to Egypt are current with certain vaccines, such as Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Pre-departure vaccination services, related travel medications, and counseling appointments can be scheduled with a local pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.

International Travel news published by Vax-Before-Travel


Article by
Dani Reiter