ADVICE FOR TRAVELLING TO EGYPT
We’ve been monitoring government updates regarding flights to and from Egypt and it’s popular resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh, so we can give you all the advice you need when it comes to planning your Egypt holidays. The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) is no longer advising against all but essential travel by air to/from Sharm el Sheikh, for more information and flight updates continue browsing our travel tips below.
UK airlines will be allowed to fly to Egypt’s leading resort Sharm el Sheikh, four years after flights were banned. There may be a delay for flights and packages to resume as normal however, with Tui set resume flights to the Red Sea destination in February 2020. While, specialists Red Sea Holidays have confirmed they will start flying to Sharm el Sheikh from December.
While you’ll need a visa for travelling to most areas in Egypt, including Luxor, Cairo and Hurghada, for beach holidays to resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh you will receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival, which is valid for up to 15 days. The same goes for Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba. You will still need a visa for excursions outside of these areas though, which you can pick up from the airport for $25.
These visas are valid for visits up to 30 days and are also available from the Egyptian Consulate in the UK. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days you can apply for a visa extension at an Egyptian Passport and Immigration Office. Be aware that you’ll also need a valid passport that has a minimum of 6 months left on it from the date of entry – so make sure you check when yours runs out before you travel!
If you're still searching for a winter sun holiday, take a look at our top 25 winter sun getaways and find a destination that ticks all your boxes!
WEATHER IN EGYPT
Thanks to Egypt's year-round balmy temperature you can visit whenever suits you best, whether you fancy topping up your tan in January's toasty 20's or sun-bathing in July's sizzling temperatures of late 30 +. So make sure you pack plenty of suncream, hats, sunshades and stay hydrated whether you're travelling for summer or winter sun!
Travel insurance is strongly recommended for all foreign travel, but it’s especially important in countries such as Egypt where the EHIC card for free emergency medical treatment isn’t valid. You should make sure that your insurance covers all the activities that you want to enjoy while on holiday – for example, watersports or scuba diving on the Red Sea Riviera.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Egypt is largely an Islamic country and the local laws and customs reflect this. While no-one will bat an eyelash if you’re in a bikini on a Sharm beach, elsewhere it’s respectful to cover up. You should dress especially modestly if on an excursion to a religious landmark such as a mosque or ‘off the tourist track’ attractions such as traditional souks. Women need to be especially mindful, covering legs, chests and upper arms – a long maxi dress and a pashmini is a good buy, and will protect you from the sun too. Men shouldn’t have bare chests away from the beach or hotel complex.
Being respectful of the local religion is especially important during Ramadan, which will fall through April/May in 2020. While you’re unlikely to notice a massive difference in the popular resorts, it’s still good to be aware that you’re visiting during the holy month.
Drinking alcohol in the street (or anywhere other than a licensed bar or restaurant) is not allowed, and there are strict laws on drugs which mean possession or use can result in long prison sentences.
Taking photographs of military areas or buildings is forbidden, and you should also be cautious of photographing other public buildings such as government buildings or train stations. If in doubt, ask.
8 weeks prior to your holiday, be sure to check the health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) with up to date vaccine recommendations and information about any current health risks.
General information is also available on the NHS or Travel Health Pro website, which currently recommends that travellers should be updated with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK. It’s also recommended that most travellers visiting this country should have both Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccines.
In an emergency, dial 123 for an ambulance. Be aware that the medical facilities aren’t on a par with those that we’re used to in the UK, so fully comprehensive travel insurance is essential.
Make sure you carry enough of your essential medications with you, as you may be unable to get them in Egypt – and take your prescription too.