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 recent terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths.
In view of continued unrest and the evolving political situation in Egypt, the FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Egypt except for resorts on the Red Sea in South Sinai and those resorts on the Egyptian mainland in Red Sea governorate (including Hurghada). In the governorate of South Sinai the FCO advise against all but essential travel, with the exception of (i) the Red Sea Resorts including those in the entire region of Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab; (ii) the St Catherine’s Monastery World Heritage Site; (iii) road travel between the Red Sea resorts; (iv) road travel from the Red Sea resorts to St Catherine’s Monastery approaching from the east; and (v) transfers between the resorts and the airports of Taba and Sharm el Sheikh.
The FCO do not advise against the use of Cairo airport as a transit stop providing you do not leave the airport grounds. There have been access problems on some of the roads to Cairo airport, chiefly Saleh Salem Road. If you are already in a part of Egypt where the FCO advise against all but essential travel, you should consider whether you have a pressing need to remain.
If you decide to remain in Egypt, you should stay at or close to home or a place of safety (eg your hotel), keep a low profile and pay close attention to your personal safety, particularly in the larger cities.
You should avoid crowds. You should follow the regulations set by the local authorities and obey curfews. Make sure you keep valid photographic identification with you at all times.
Protests and demonstrations
In Cairo on 14 August Egyptian security forces ended sit-in protests at Nahda Square close to Cairo University in Giza and at Rabaa Al-Adaweya mosque in Nasr City.
This resulted in at least 500 deaths. Violent clashes also occurred near Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandiseen, Cairo. On 17 August there were further violent clashes in Ramses Square and at the Al Fatah Mosque between protesters and security forces. Demonstrations planned for the afternoon of Sunday 18th August, including outside the Constitutional Court in Maadi and Roxy Square in Heliopolis were cancelled by the organisers because of security concerns.
There have been demonstrations in other parts of Egypt, including Alexandria, Hurghada and Luxor, some of which have turned violent. Further demonstrations are likely and could take place in any part of the country. Army and security forces have been deployed in anticipation of further protests and rallies in the coming days. Train services across Egypt are suspended. A curfew was declared on 14 August between 7pm and 6am local time.
This is expected to continue for several weeks. The governorates affected by this are Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, South Sinai (except for Sharm el Sheikh, Taha and Dahab) North Sinai, Suez, Behera, Minya, Assiut, Souhag, Beni Suef, Ismailia, Qena and Fayoum. A national state of emergency has been declared for Egypt for a period of 1 month. You are strongly advised to avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. If you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately. Don’t attempt to cross road blocks erected by the security forces or protesters. There is a serious risk of violence and sexual assault at demonstrations. NGOs report more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults against women in demonstrations since 30 June. Foreign and Egyptian women have been attacked. See Political and security situation
Red Sea Resort areas
Enhanced security measures are in place to protect the resort areas. There have been no violent protests in the South Sinai resorts during recent disturbances in Egypt In Hurghada on 14 August there were some violent clashes, in an area away from tourist resorts. One man was killed.
On 16 August there was a demonstration near the marina area. You are strongly advised to follow the advice of the local authorities and avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. If you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately. Do not attempt to cross road blocks erected by the security forces or protestors.
There is a high threat from terrorism.
Although security is tight throughout the country, especially in resort areas, there remains a high risk of attacks which could be indiscriminate, including in public places frequented by foreigners.