Egypt: Travel update

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
  • Rhe 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)

The area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel does not include the tourist areas along the Nile river (eg Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings) or the Red Sea Resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.

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.

There is a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device. As a precautionary measure, the FCO are now advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. UK carriers will not take passengers directly to Sharm el Sheikh airport. The FCO are working with the Egyptian authorities and air carriers to put special security measures in place which will permit travellers in Sharm el Sheikh to return by air, whether as scheduled at the end of their stay or before that if they wish. British nationals affected by this should contact their tour operators or carriers to arrange an orderly departure.

FCO are not raising the threat level in the resort. The above advice applies only to air travel to and from Sharm el Sheikh.

Carriers will not be permitted to fly from Sharm el Sheikh until the FCO are satisfied that it is safe for them to do so.

The FCO has deployed consular staff to Sharm el Sheikh, who will be on hand at the airport and the resort, to assist British nationals.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place from 18 October to 23 November. There may be rallies around the country in the run up to the elections. You should avoid all rallies and demonstrations. On election days tight controls will be in place around polling stations with access restricted to voters and officially accredited observers. In previous elections British nationals have been arrested close to polling stations. Avoid polling stations and don’t take photographs nearby.  

Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada

Enhanced security measures are in place to protect the Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada resort areas. Security forces are situated at the international airports, at check points around the perimeter of the towns and throughout the Governorates. Routine security checks are being performed on entry into the airport and the police are carrying out vehicle checks in the towns.

Remember to take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK