Is Egypt Open for Tourism? Restrictions and Requirements

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.

Shares

A boat on the nile Photo © Getty Images/WitR

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Egypt – updated 19 August 2021

Commercial flights and international tourism to Egypt have resumed from 1 July 2020.

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. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from this requirement. On 24 June, the Egyptian Ministry of Health announced that fully vaccinated individuals (except those from high-risk countries) are also exempt from taking a PCR test. However, we have seen conflicting information about this, and the web page for the US Embassy in Egypt does not mention the vaccination exemption.

  • Passengers traveling from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt 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. Travelers must present paper copies of the test results; digital copies will not be accepted.
  • Foreign visitors arriving at airports in the coastal governorates Red Sea (Hurghada), South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh), and Marsa Matrouh without a valid test result will undergo testing on arrival (at their own cost), and must quarantine until results are received.
  • Travelers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Latin America or Vietnam will need to take an ID Now COVID-19 test on arrival. If the test is positive, the traveler will undergo a PCR test at the airport and if positive, the traveler will be quarantined at a government-designated hospital.
  • Arriving passengers will have their temperatures checked.
  • Anyone that tests positive for COVID-19 while in Egypt is required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Everyone must fill out a Health Declaration.
  • 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 on all public transit, in taxis, and in enclosed public spaces, and you may be denied entry to vehicles and public transport without one.
  • Individuals who do not adhere to precautionary measures such as wearing a mask indoors may be subject to an immediate fine or prosecution.
  • Hotels have resumed operations but must follow new health guidelines that include limits on capacity and hygiene standards
  • There are restrictions on public gatherings. Businesses such as restaurants and cafes must operate at 50 percent capacity or less.

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 that injured 16 people. This bomb blast is the second incident involving tourists in six months, including another tourist bus that 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 on board. 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 that 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 neighborhood of Cairo and close to a government building.

radical Islamists have claimed responsibility.

Church attack - December 2017

Two 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 moved 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 the 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.

Get a travel insurance quote for Egypt

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Related articles

Travel Insurance

Simple and flexible travel insurance

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Get a quote

22 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

    • Melissa Palmer said

      Hi I’m travelling to Egypt Hurgarda on 31st July 2021 from uk if I have had both vaccines and proof of pcr test will I be allowed in country also my son will be going with me he is 12 years old what should I do for him will a per test be ok for him as vaccines not available for children as of yet and will my hotel be open Serenity Fun city and what will the restrictions be as not getting any information from my airline or booking I have travel insurance covered for Covid 19 too so just need some reassurance of what we can do if we can go or not

      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

  • Jaz said

    Hi, I am going to Egypt next month. My flight leaves Honolulu December 10th and arrives to Cairo on the 12th. I'm taking my test for covid December 7th. Is enough time or will I be outside the window for a negative PCR test upon arrival in Cairo?

    Reply

  • Kerry whitham said

    We are due to travel to Hurghada on 30th December. We are struggling to obtain test with a pcr certification. If we are to be tested at the arriving airport how long is it until test results come back ??? Also is the testing done in the airport itself ?

    Thank you
    Kerry

    Reply

  • Negina said

    Is it possible to apply visa on arrival?

    Reply

  • Vilma Catala said

    Are they testing at the airport???
    I don’t think I can have a PCR at hand since I travel the 28 Monday and I can only get tested Saturday!! I will not have stamped paper in hand!!!!! After you get tested is self quarantine (what does it mean)
    Can I show results in the phone??

    Reply

  • Laura said

    Hi! My boyfriend and I have been in Hurghada for 3 days now. We would like to travel to Cairo by plane and come back the next day. Do you know if it is possible for us or is there any restrictions? Thanks!

    Reply

  • Pablo Tamayo said

    i plan on going to Cairo. i am vaccinated. do i still need to get a covid test or can i just show my vaccinated card.

    Reply

  • Idris said

    Is Egypt embassy open so I can apply for a visa because I heard I can’t apply for visa at the moment due to the lockdown. Is that true?
    When is the embassy going to be open so I can start processing my visa. Please kindly get back to me

    Reply

  • Kath Swyer said

    Hi ,my husband and I are booked to fly to Cairo on 9th July 2021 ,Cairo is Amber ,our Government is in advisory position saying shouldn't fly to Amber Countries ,our airline aren't advising anything I need to know if it's ok to travel we have had both coved jabs

    Reply

  • chuck said

    Are IDNOW Covid test accepted at Cairo airport for entry? i heard this is a test they are using for variants for travelers already with another pcr test. But can it be presented by itself?

    Reply

  • AMY GAU said

    and how exactly are people from the US getting PCR and/or vaccine proof with a QR code. Even getting a PCR printed with a seal from the lab is going to be next to impossible as most of these are provided by email or in a patient portal.
    I believe some states are using QR codes to verify vaccine electronically but these are in the minority and not sure they are printed

    Reply

  • Nigel & Fiona Hicks said

    Hi.
    We are due to fly to Hurghada for 14 days holiday on 24th Aug 2021 from the UK, flights with Easy Jet.
    There is much conflicting advice on what we need to do regarding PCR testing on arrival.
    Do we need PCR negative test 72hrs before we arrive or have a PCR test at Hurghada Airport or have proof of our NHS vaccinations on arrival.

    We have both been fully vaccinated!

    Any advice would appreciated.

    Nigel and Fiona Hicks

    Reply

Add a Comment