- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
Avoid non-essential travel
Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020
The Egyptian authorities’ response to COVID-19 is evolving, and local measures may change and new restrictions be introduced at short notice and without warning. Current Egyptian Government measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Face coverings, covering the mouth and nose, must be worn when entering enclosed public spaces such as supermarkets, banks and offices and while on public transportation.
- Restaurants, cafes and tourist sites are currently operating at reduced capacity and with restricted hours.
- Health status approved hotels are currently limited to 50% capacity and are required to follow certain regulations.
Egyptian airports reopened to international commercial flights from 1 July and initially will operate at reduced capacity with limited schedules which may be subject to change, including cancellation. Egypt is currently not on the list of countries from which flights are approved for entry into the Schengen area.
The Egyptian Government has announced that all passengers travelling to Egypt (including Egyptians) must be in possession of a negative PCR test certificate for COVID-19, taken a maximum of 72 hours before their flight departure time. However, passengers travelling from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt will be allowed to provide the test certificate performed at a maximum of 96 hours prior to flight departure, due to the long travel and transit period from these airports. Passengers must present paper copies of the test results; digital copies will not be accepted. Children under the age of six of all nationalities are exempt.
COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice. You should check with your airline to confirm time frames for undertaking PCR tests before travelling.
All passengers arriving in Egypt will be subject to temperature checks and must complete a passenger locator form with contact details.
All arrivals must have proof that they hold medical insurance, which will cover the cost of treatment for COVID-19.
Tourists arriving at airports in the coastal governorates of the Red Sea (Hurghada), South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh), and Marsa Matrouh that are unable to present acceptable evidence of a negative PCR test will need to undergo testing on arrival for a fee of USD30. After testing you will be required to self-isolate at your hotel until you receive your test result. The Egyptian authorities will be in contact and will advise whether you need to continue self-isolating. Test results are expected to become available within 12-24 hours.
If your test result is positive, the Egyptian authorities are likely to ask you to self-isolate for up to 14 days in a separate room allocated for quarantine within your hotel. If symptoms persist, you may be transferred to a public hospital. You may also choose to go to a private hospital, under the supervision of the Ministry of Health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover.
You should comply with measures put in place by the local authorities. You should also keep up to date with information from your tour operator, transport or accommodation provider on the impact of these measures on travel plans, which may be affected at short notice. You should also follow the advice available from the HSE.
Irish passengers should be prepared for additional travel inconveniences, often introduced at short notice, if they decide to proceed with their travel to Egypt.
Some countries are imposing restrictions on travel from Egypt. If you are travelling from or through Egypt, you should check the situation at your next/ return destination before you travel.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
Egyptian Government Corona Information Hotline Dial 105
Irish citizens are strongly advised against travel to:
- the Governorate of North Sinai including the Taba-Suez Road where the security situation is extremely dangerous;
- remote desert areas close to the Libyan and Sudanese borders due to heightened concerns about the security situation there; Gaza via the Rafah border crossing (the vicinity of the Rafah border crossing is particularly dangerous at the moment and the border crossing is closed most of the time).
Irish citizens are advised, if travelling to:
- the Red Sea coastal resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and other Red Sea resorts outside the Sinai peninsula,
- tourist areas close to the Nile river, (such as Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel, including cruises between them);
to arrive by air and to avoid travelling outside these areas.
General Travel Advice
In April 2017 the Egyptian Government decreed that a state of emergency exists in Egypt and has extended that decree every three months since, most recently on July 27th 2020.
There is a high risk of terrorist attacks in Egypt. Although the majority of attacks are targeted at the security services, they have involved civilian casualties.
On 4th August 2019 a car bomb exploded in central Cairo killing at least 20 civilians and injuring about 50 more.
On 19th May 2019 a small road-side bomb in the vicinity of the Giza pyramids was detonated as a bus carrying South African tourists was passing by, causing some injuries, none fatal.
Irish citizens should remain vigilant, follow the instructions of local authorities, including any restrictions on movement in and around religious sites and during religious festivals, and monitor local media (including social media) for up to date information.
Irish citizens should also avoid the vicinity of major security/police or government buildings, and should not take photographs of security installations. Irish citizens should ensure that that they carry valid i.d. with them at all times. If caught up in a demonstration, Irish citizens should not attempt to take photographs/ videos and should leave the area immediately.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, start by talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
Additionally you may contact the Embassy at +202 27287100 or the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin at +353 (0)1 408 2000.
Our tips for safe travels
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
- Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Protests and demonstrations
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
The temperature in Egypt during the summer months in some areas can reach over 40 degrees celsius. Remember to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Sand and dust storms
Sand and dust storms can occur between March and May. You should pay close attention to local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
Egypt is in an active earthquake zone and there have been occasional earthquakes, with the last major one in 1992. If you’re travelling to or living in Egypt, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens travelling to Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba resorts only, for a maximum of 15 days, do not require a visa prior to travelling as a free entry permission stamp will be granted upon arrival. However, if you intend to travel outside of the these areas, or stay for longer than 15 days, you must obtain a Visa.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need an vaccinations for Egypt.
If you are an Irish citizen and in need of emergency assistance outside of normal office hours, then you can contact us on the following emergency number: +20 1274443942.
Embassy of Ireland
18 Hassan Sabry Street
Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Hisham G Helmy
Honorary Consul of Ireland
45 Victor Bassily street off Sultan Hussein street - Azarita
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.