As entry restrictions are gradually eased in many areas of the globe, you may be looking for the perfect destination for that first post-Covid trip.
If you’re considering Egypt for a 2020 getaway then this article is for you. Find out what areas of the country you can visit right now and what coronavirus safety measures you can expect when you get there.
You can also get some useful travel safety tips for your holiday in Egypt to enjoy everything the country has to offer with even greater peace of mind.
Traveling to Egypt During Coronavirus
Egypt, like the rest of the world, has been affected by the recently Covid-19 pandemic. For several weeks all commercial flights into and out of the country were suspended in efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
The good news for travelers is that flights resumed on 1st July. Tourism is initially being restricted to the coastal provinces of the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh, which are some of the most popular destinations for tourists.
The Egyptian government has implemented several measures to ensure the safety of overseas travelers. Everyone arriving has their temperature taken and is required to fill out a Public Health Card.
Foreigners must also provide proof of a valid health insurance policy in addition to their Egypt visa when entering the country.
What Coronavirus measures are in place in Egypt?
Following the lifting of a nationwide curfew, which had been in place since March 25th, services and facilities are now being made available.
Hotels and other tourist locations are operating at a reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. Essential and many non-essential stores are also now open for business.
A curfew remains in place on public transportation between midnight and 4 am and there are still limitations on public gatherings.
Wearing a face mask in public is mandatory in closed public spaces, shopping malls, and public transport (including taxis). It’s also a good idea to carry around a small bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer to use if running water and soap are not available, as indicated in recommendations by the World Health Organization.
It’s hoped that these safety measures will allow tourists to enjoy a safe Egyptian vacation in 2020. Restrictions may be changed with little notice, so check the latest updates before traveling to Egypt.
Tips for Visiting Egypt Safely
Aside from coronavirus, some tourists question how safe Egypt is as a travel destination. Most concerns stem from the unrest caused by the Arab Spring of 2011, whilst this did cause some instability, many years have passed since the protests and Egypt has regained its reputation as a top sightseeing destination.
Overall Egypt is safe, tourists are warmly welcomed and the vast majority of visits are incident-free.
That said, like when visiting any overseas destination, you should stay up to date with the latest state travel advisories and prepare well.
The following advice for visitors in Egypt will help you enjoy a safe and memorable trip.
Use reputable tours guides at main attractions
Visiting the Giza pyramid complex is a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed when in Egypt. To get the most out of your experience hire the services of an expert guide through a tour company.
Booking a tour in advance is the best way to avoid being overcharged and you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for. This is particularly relevant if you’re taking a camel tour in the Sahara.
Be careful with personal belongings
Just about every big city in the world has a few opportunistic pick-pocketers. When exploring Egyptian towns and cities, or on public transport, be sure to keep an eye on your possessions, in particular valuable items such as cell phones and watches.
It’s worth pointing out that there is little violent crime towards tourists in Egypt, any incidents that do occur tend to be petty theft and other minor incidents.
Dress modestly in Egypt
When packing your suitcase, remember that you’ll be expected to dress modestly in Egypt, that goes for both men and women.
Although the coastal resorts on the Red Sea are accustomed to tourists, stray away from these areas and the conservative dress becomes particularly important. In rural areas, at mosques and markets, women are expected to cover their legs and upper arms whilst men should cover their chests.
Learn how to say “no” in Arabic
No in Arabic is la, shukran, this one piece of vocabulary will help you stay safe and avoid scams in Egypt. If someone offers to take your photo in front of the pyramids, say no. If a shop owner tries to give you a ‘present’, say no and reject all offers of help you or show you around. Usually the people offering these “gifts” are looking for some form of payment and will continue to follow you if you take their offer.
Whilst many locals genuinely want to lend a hand, the safest thing to do is to reject all offers.