Egypt Travel Alerts and Warnings

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.

For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

How are COVID-19 restrictions affecting travel to Egypt? Find out what to expect upon arrival, and which areas of Egypt are currently open to tourism.

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A boat on the nile Photo © Getty Images/WitR

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Egypt – updated 19 October, 2020

Commercial flights and international tourism to Egypt has resumed from 1 July.

All international arrivals (including Egyptian nationals) to any part of Egypt must present a negative RT-PCR test certificate on arrival, and the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure of their last direct flight to Egypt.

  • Passengers traveling from some airports must have their PCR test conducted no more than 96 hours prior to flight departure (check with your airline)
  • The medical certificate must be issued and stamped by an accredited laboratory, and indicate the type of sample taken for the swab, and must be written in Arabic or English
  • Foreign visitors arriving at the coastal governorates of the Red Sea (Hurghada and Marsa Alam), South Sinai (Sharm El-Sheikh) and Marsa Matrouh without a valid test result will undergo testing on arrival (at their own cost), and must self-isolate until results are received
  • Arriving passengers will have their temperatures checked
  • Everyone must fill out a Public Health Card
  • Foreign travelers must show proof of a valid health insurance policy
  • Most foreign nationals require a visa. Apply online via Egypt's Online Visa portal.

Check with your airline for the latest information before departure.

Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.

Local COVID-19 measures in place for Egypt

  • It is mandatory to wear a mask in public, and you may be denied entry to vehicles and public transport without one
  • Hotels have resumed operations, and must follow new health guidelines that include limits on capacity and hygiene standards
  • There are restrictions on public gatherings.

Rules and restrictions may be changed at short notice, including curfew hours which may be reimplemented if there is a spike in cases of COVID-19. It is important to stay up to date with local news and media, and follow the travel advice from your government.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by COVID-19? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Bus bombing near Grand Egyptian Museum - May 2019

On Sunday 19th May, a bus carrying ~25 tourists near the new Grand Egyptian Museum was hit by a roadside bomb blast which injured 16 people. This bomb blast is the second incident involving tourists in six months, including another tourist bus which was hit by a roadside bomb in December 2018 near the Giza Pyramid complex. Authorities have reported that the source of the explosion was from a remote IED (Improvised Explosive Device) inside a vehicle parked on the side of the road.

  • Always exercise caution while traveling
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Carry your personal ID with you at all times
  • Keep updated with local news and government travel advisory information if you are currently in Egypt.

Please check with authorities for more information and follow any official warnings. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities may result in you not being covered by travel insurance.

Tourist bus bombing at Giza Pyramids - December 2018

On December 28th, a bus carrying tourists near the Giza Pyramid complex was hit by a roadside bomb blast which killed an Egyptian tour guide, three Vietnamese foreign nationals and injured 11 others onboard. This bomb blast has been the first deadly incident involving tourists in more than a year. Authorities have reported that the source of the explosion was from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) found hidden in a wall at the incident location.

Always exercise caution while traveling, be aware of your surroundings and keep updated with local news and government travel advisory information if you are currently in Egypt.

Please check with authorities for more information and follow any official warnings. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities may result in you not being covered by travel insurance.

North Sinai terror attack - November 2017

Over 300 people were killed and 100 wounded by an ISIL led bomb and gun attack at a mosque in Bir al-Abed, a city located in the north of the Sinai Peninsula during Friday afternoon prayers.

ISIL terrorists also used vehicles to block off escape routes and shot at ambulances which were arriving on the scene.

Australian and UK travel advisories have warned against travel to North Sinai as a result of this latest attack in addition to previous attacks on police and security forces in the region.

Pyramids attack - December 2017

On Friday 9th December, a bomb was exploded at the entrance to the tourist area housing the Great Pyramids in Giza.

The bomb was left in a rubbish bin at the park entrance, when it detonated it killed six security staff and injured 3 more.

The security checkpoint is located in a middle class neighbourhood of Cairo and close to a government building.

radical Islamists have claimed responsibility.

Church attack - December 2017

2 days later a larger explosion killed 25 people attending mass at St Peter's church, close to the main Coptic cathedral St Mark's in central Cairo.

Sunday services had been moveed to St Peter's while the main cathedral is being renovated. About 10% of Egyptians are Coptic Christians.

Radical Islamists also claimed responsibility for this attack.

Is Cairo safe?

It's important to check the government status of the area you are visiting – at time of publication the status for certain areas in Egypt sit at "Reconsider Your Need to Travel", which may in some circumstances have an impact on your coverage. The north-eastern corner of Egypt bordering Gaza is considered a "Do Not Travel" zone.

While statistically you are more likely to end up in a car accident than being caught up in a terror related incident, it's up to each individual to assess the level of risk they are prepared to take.

For some further perspective, check out our article on Travel and Terrorism.

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10 Comments

  • Georgia Lange said

    I am a travel agent who has a group of 14 booked to travel to Egypt beginning Feb. 7, 2021. Realistically, will they be able to travel from Chicago to Cairo for a 12 day guided tour with G Adventures?

    Reply

  • John Smith said

    Is there a list of source/forms of PCR tests acceptable to Egyptian Customs officials with exclusions?

    I would hate, hate to travel all the way to Egypt only to discover my test results were not acceptable for general entry.

    Reply

  • Ashlyn Wilson said

    Can you please provide a list of what is open to the public site attraction wise?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Ashlyn,

      I have tried looking for a definitive list to include here, however I cannot find anything reliable.

      It does look like most tourist sites are open, and subject to health protocols (wearing face masks, social distancing etc).

      Perhaps try reaching out to your accommodation provider, or maybe even your airline? If you are traveling with a tour group, they will definitely be able to provide this information.

      Cheers,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • mike said

    Some sites are saying that I have to quarantine for 14 days if I travel to Egypt. Is that true even if I test negative?

    Reply

    • Sam Hart said

      Some sites are saying that I have to quarantine for 14 days if I travel to Egypt. Is that true even if I test negative?

      Reply

      • Amelia Brady said

        Hi Mike,

        As Joe said below, the 14 day quarantine is only for people who have tested positive to COVID-19.

        Cheers,
        Amelia, World Nomads

        Reply

  • Jennifer said

    Are the pool open at the hotel and the Red Sea?
    Can you visit the pirámide ?
    Do I need a visa to go to Egypt?

    Reply

  • Amelia Brady said

    Hi Mike,

    I have just checked a number of sources, and on the iVisa website it says 14 day quarantine is required: https://www.ivisa.com/egypt-blog/learn-more-about-the-egypt-14-day-quarantine-requirement

    The US Government has an alert update from 5 October that also mentions 14 day quarantine, however when you scroll down they answer "no" to the question "Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine?"...
    https://eg.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/

    The UK Government advisory simply states anyone who tests positive will be quarantined, but was last updated 18 September, so might be out of date?

    Does anyone else have any insights before I update this alert? Very confusing.

    Cheers,
    Amelia, World Nomads

    Reply

  • Joe said

    Hi Mike,
    The 14 quarantine is only for individuals that have tested positive.

    Reply

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