The Egyptian authorities have announced that, for the first time in three months, the country will once again welcome international traffic. Since the global coronavirus crisis, Egypt, like many other countries, had closed its borders, but the country is now slowly starting to admit foreign travellers again.
Safety sticker of the WTTC
Unlike countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, where no people have died of the coronavirus for months, Egypt is still suffering from the virus. The number of coronavirus cases in Egypt has not dropped, which is a reason for scientists to warn the country that it is moving too fast.
However, the Egyptian authorities are certain that they have taken sufficient safety measures to ensure that foreign travellers are not at risk, and do not pose a risk to Egypt. The government points out that Egypt has been awarded a "Safe Travel Stamp" by the World Travel and Tourism Council. This certificate is given to countries of which the organisation believes that they sufficiently safeguard the health of visitors.
Where can I go?
Egypt will not fully open to foreign tourists. There are specific areas where they are allowed to go, the rest of the country remains closed to foreigners. The areas where tourists are allowed to go are:
- Southern Sinai, where the resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab are located.
- The Red Sea province, where the seaside resorts of Hurghada and Marsa Alam are located
- Marsa Matrouh, on the Mediterranean.
Covid-19 measures for foreign travellers
Tourists planning to travel to Egypt in the near future will be faced with special coronavirus measures to prevent further spreading of the virus:
- Upon arrival in Egypt, a health form must be filled out and travellers must be able to prove that their health insurance coverage is global.
- Your temperature can be measured and luggage is disinfected, which can lead to longer waiting times.
- Masks are mandatory at airports and other public places in Egypt, and there are signs that must be followed to ensure distance between people.
In addition, Egypt has introduced domestic measures to which both the people of Egypt and foreign travellers must adhere. More information can be found on the page about the coronavirus in Egypt.
Travelling to Egypt: visa or no visa?
Normally, British and Irish travellers going to Egypt need a visa to enter the country. The current situation regarding this is unclear. There are reports that the government of Egypt no longer requires tourist visas until 31 October, in order to motivate foreigners to travel to Egypt instead of other countries. However, this has not yet been confirmed by the Egyptian authorities.
It is therefore wise, just to be on the safe side, to apply for a visa to Egypt anyway, as you will be sent back if you do not have a visa and the visa requirement remains in effect. The Egypt visa is relatively cheap and is valid for 90 days . It allows you to stay in Egypt for a maximum of 30 days, usually more than enough for a nice holiday in one of the many popular seaside resorts.