UK travellers planning trips to Egypt may be concerned whether it is safe to visit the country following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. While Egypt shares a border with Israel and Gaza, it is not involved in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The UK Government does advise against all travel, or all but essential travel, to some parts of Egypt. However, this advice was in place before the fighting between Israel and Hamas broke out in early October.
Areas popular with British tourists, such as Red Sea Resorts, are not affected by the Foreign Office advice against travel.
An incident took place on 8 October in which an Egyptian police officer is reported to have shot and killed two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian tour guide in Alexandria. A third tourist was injured. Israel’s national security council has urged its citizens to leave Egypt as soon as possible.
Here is what you need to know about travel to Egypt, including the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
What is the latest UK Government advice on travel to Egypt?
Egypt borders Israel and Gaza on the eastern end of the Sinai Peninsula. The FCDO advises against all travel to Egypt’s border area of northern Sinai. This warning against travel was in place before the Israel-Hamas fighting broke out.
The FCDO also warns against all travel to within 20km (12.4 miles) of the Egypt-Libya border (except for the town of El Salloum, where it advises against all but essential travel) and all but essential travel to the northern part of south Sinai (with some exceptions), the eastern part of Ismailiyah Governorate east of the Suez Canal, much of the Western Desert (with exceptions), the Hala’ib Triangle and the Bir Tawil Trapezoid.
Many British holidaymakers travelling to Egypt will be due to visit a Red Sea resort. The popular resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada do not fall under the Foreign Office warnings against travel, neither do the tourist destinations of Luxor, Aswan, the Pyramids in Giza, or Cairo.
The Foreign Office warns that terrorism is a risk across Egypt. There is also a risk of demonstrations.
See the FCDO foreign travel advice page for Egypt.
What are my options if I want to cancel a trip to Egypt?
If you have booked a package trip, contact your tour operator. The company may permit you to change your trip to a later date.
However, you should keep in mind that the FCDO has not issued advice against travel to the whole of Egypt. Unless the advice changes for the area you are due to travel to, you are not due a refund and you will not be able to claim on your travel insurance should you choose not to travel.
If you are travelling independently, you can contact your airline and your accommodation provider to see if they will permit you to alter your plans. As it stands, you would not be due a refund for flights or accommodation.