Is it safe to travel to Egypt? Travel advice for Sharm El Sheikh, Cairo, Luxor and the Nile

Terrorist attacks, safety scares and violent protests have left many tourists wondering whether it's safe to travel to Egypt. Here's the latest advice from the UK Government...

Terrorist attacks on government, security and tourist sites in Egypt, as well as a number of airline incidents, have led international governments to declare certain areas of the country unsafe for travel.

In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not advise against travel to most tourist destinations, but has advised against travelling to some parts of Egypt.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Some areas of Egypt are deemed as no-go areas for tourists while others are classified as being safe. 

There is no FCO advice against travel to Cairo, Alexandria, the tourist areas along the Nile river (including Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings) and the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.

As a precautionary measure, the FCO are advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. There are currently no flights from Britain to Sharm El Sheikh, but flights continue to three Egyptian destinations - Cairo (below), Marsa Alam and Hurghada.

What is the current Foreign Office advice?

The FCO's current travel advice on currently states that "there is a high threat from terrorism in Egypt" and advises against all travel to the North Sinai province due to the threat of terrorist attacks and an increase in criminal activity.

It advises against all but essential travel to 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.

While Sharm El Sheikh itself is currently considered safe, there remains a warning over all but essential travel by air to or from the popular Red Sea resort.

This precautionary measure follows an incident involving a Russian Metrojet flight from Sharm El Sheikh to St Petersburg which crashed in North Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 passengers on board. Terrorism has been suspected but an investigation is ongoing.

Travellers are also advised against all but essential trips to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh.

What other advice does the FCO give?

The Foreign Office advises tourists to remain vigilant at all times and follow the advice of local security officials, particularly during religious festivals. Travellers should avoid protests and demonstrations and leave the area immediately if a demonstration begins. UK tourists should keep valid photo ID on them at all times, and to take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.

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