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Exploring Egypt: Essential Travel Advice for British Nationals

If you’re a British national planning a trip to Egypt, it’s crucial to stay informed about potential risks and travel advisories. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides valuable advice to help you make informed decisions. Keep reading to find out what you need to know to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to this captivating country.

Areas to be Aware of

Egypt-Libya Border

The FCDO advises against all travel within 20km of the Egypt-Libya border, except for the town of El Salloum. However, it is important to note that even in El Salloum, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel.

North Sinai

The FCDO advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai.

Northern Part of South Sinai

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the northern part of the Governorate of South Sinai, beyond the St Catherine-Nuweibaa road. However, coastal areas along the west and east of the peninsula are considered safe for travel.

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The Eastern Part of Ismailiyah Governorate

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the Ismailiyah Governorate east of the Suez Canal.

Western Desert

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions. There are exceptions, such as Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel, and the Valley of the Kings. The coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh are also considered safe. Additionally, the Marsa Matruh-Siwa Road, the oasis town of Siwa, and the Giza Governorate northeast of the Bahariya Oasis are safe for travel. It is worth noting that the road between Bahariya and Siwa has some travel restrictions. Lastly, Bahariya Oasis, Farafra, the White Desert, and Black Desert can be visited with caution.

Hala’ib Triangle and Bir Tawil Trapezoid

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the Hala’ib Triangle and the Bir Tawil Trapezoid.

Conflict in Neighboring Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs)

Due to the state of emergency declared by the Israeli government, international borders in Israel and the OPTs may close at short notice. Consequently, the land border between Egypt and Israel at Taba could also close without much warning. It is essential to stay updated by checking with local authorities and consulting the travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories before attempting to cross the border.

In response to recent events in Israel and the OPTs, demonstrations have taken place in Egypt, often after Friday prayers. These demonstrations may be organized with little notice and usually have a strong security presence. To ensure your safety, it is best to avoid large gatherings, demonstrations, and protests.

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Entering Egypt from Gaza

The Rafah border crossing has partially opened for specific purposes, including the evacuation of seriously wounded Palestinians and some foreign nationals. The Egyptian and Israeli authorities determine who can cross and when. If you fall into the permitted groups, you will be notified by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Please be aware that traveling to the Rafah crossing and beyond carries some risk, and it is advisable to make the journey only if you judge it to be safe. For more information, refer to the travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Egyptian authorities have mandated that all aid going into Gaza must be channeled through the Egyptian Red Crescent. If you require assistance in this regard, you can contact them at the following numbers: +20 226 703 979, +20 226 703 983 (telephone) and +20 226 703 967 (fax). Please note that humanitarian access requests made in Egypt on short notice may not be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What should I do if I am concerned about friends or family or need consular assistance?
A: If you have concerns about friends or family or require consular assistance, please contact the British Embassy in Cairo at +20 (0)2 2791 6000. If you experience technical difficulties with this number, you can also reach out to the UK number +44 1767 667 600.

Q: Is it safe to travel to South Sinai?
A: The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the northern part of the Governorate of South Sinai, beyond the St Catherine-Nuweibaa road. However, coastal areas along the west and east of the peninsula are considered safe.

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Conclusion

When planning a trip to Egypt, it is essential to consider the FCDO’s travel advice to ensure your safety and well-being. By staying informed about potential risks and following the guidelines provided, you can make the most of your visit to this remarkable country. For detailed information and further updates, visit the iBlog.

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