Egypt has eased restrictions in order to allow tourists to explore the country while keeping in place COVID-19 restrictions to enhance the safety of travellers.

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Restrictions on Travelling to Egypt

Travelling to Egypt is now possible thanks to the easing of travel restrictions for foreigners. The government of Egypt has implemented strict COVID-19 response measures across all airports to aid in curbing the spread of the virus in Egypt. 

The Egyptian government requires all foreigners to obtain an Egyptian visa before visiting the country. Fortunately, international travellers from 46 countries can Egypt eVisa online instead of visiting a local Egyptian embassy or consulate. 

Obtaining an Egypt eVisa online allows applicants to avoid face-to-face contact in keeping with COVID-19 social distancing and safety measures.

Travel Restrictions in Place for Foreign Arrivals

All foreign travellers to Egypt including Egyptian citizens must now present a negative PCR test certificate upon arrival in Egypt.

Egyptian authorities require that the test must have been taken not more than 72 hours before the departure of their flight to Egypt. The test must be an oral or nasal swab taken at an approved laboratory and must bear the laboratory’s stamp. 

The test certificate must indicate the date and time the test was taken, and the type of test performed. The test certificate must be free of any scrapings, cancellations, or additions. 

Test certificates can be submitted in English or Arabic before boarding.

Travellers can also obtain information about PCR test timeframes for Egypt by contacting their airlines.

Passengers from Japan, China, North America, South America, London Heathrow, Paris, Canada, Thailand, and Frankfurt are allowed to present a test certificate taken 96 hours before their flight departure time. This is to accommodate for the long travel and transit time from these airports.

Egyptian authorities do not accept digital copies of PCR test certificates, all incoming visitors should therefore take a printed copy of their PCR test certificate with them when they travel to Egypt.

Children under the age of six, regardless of nationality are exempt from submitting a test certificate.

Arriving in Egypt during COVID-19

In addition to the above restrictions, international visitors are required to maintain precautionary measures during their journey to Egypt. This includes wearing a mask at all times while on-board an aircraft except while eating and drinking and sanitizing their hands frequently.

All incoming visitors will be subjected to a temperature check upon arrival and must also complete a Public Health Card with their contact details. The Public Health Card notifies visitors if one or more of the people they traveled with contracted COVID-19.

Foreign visitors arriving in Egypt must also show proof of health insurance upon arrival which will cover the cost of treatment for COVID-19. 

Additionally, passengers arriving on direct flights to Egyptian via airports in Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Marsa Alam, and Taba can take a PCR test upon arrival if they did not submit a negative PCR test certificate before departure for Egypt. Arriving passengers will be responsible for covering the cost of the PCR test at these airports.

International travellers arriving via Egyptian airports that provide PCR tests upon arrival will have to self-isolate in their hotel rooms until they receive their test results, which can take between 12-24 hours.

Travellers who have tested positive for COVID-19 will need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in their hotel room and coordinate with the Egyptian Ministry of Health.

Transit passengers who will be travelling to and from an onward destination without requiring hotel accommodations at Cairo International Airport until boarding their connecting flight do not need to submit a negative PCR result.

Transit passengers who prefer hotel accommodations as part of their transit journey through Cairo International Airport will need to submit a negative PCR result to Egyptian authorities before boarding their connecting flight.

It should be noted that hotels are operating at reduced capacity with special regulations from the Egyptian government to deal with the COVID-19 enhanced cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Restaurants, cafes and other businesses in Egypt are also currently operating at 50% capacity and are ordered to close by 10 pm.

Travel Advisory for Egypt

Visitors are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as recent terrorist activity in the country, particularly in the North Sinai Peninsula.

It is always best for the safety and security of travellers to comply with local laws bearing in mind that travel plans may be affected as a result of the Egyptian authorities’ evolving response to the pandemic. 

Travel restrictions may change on short notice therefore, travellers should keep track of the most up-to-date information from their airlines, tour-operators in Egypt, hotels, etc. to stay on top of the developments as they occur. 

Wearing a mask is mandatory in Egypt especially when in public spaces, tourist sites, public transportation, etc. There are restrictions in place on inter-city travel within Egypt, visitors should therefore make plans accordingly.

Before making plans to travel to Egypt, consult with your doctor about getting the required vaccinations. 

Egyptian authorities regard some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs as controlled substances. All narcotics and psychotropic drugs fall under this category giving Egyptian authorities the right to seize them from travellers upon their arrival in Egypt.

Other types of medications must be clearly labeled, be in their original packaging with the traveller having the original prescription with them to present to Egyptian border control officials when prompted.