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Egypt entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information

Entry to Egypt

Since 1 July, the Egyptian government has permitted international flights to and from Egyptian airports. Some airlines are imposing special requirements, such as the wearing of face masks. You should check with your airline before you travel.

The Egyptian authorities have advised that all arrivals into Egypt will be subject to health measures. Passengers from all countries will be required to complete a monitoring card with personal details, and will need to provide confirmation of valid health insurance policy to airport authorities.

Testing before arrival

From 1 September, all persons (including those who hold Egyptian nationality) arriving from overseas, to any part of Egypt, will be required to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival, and an indication of when the test was taken. The Egyptian authorities have advised that PCR tests must be conducted no more than 72 hours prior to flight departure. Passengers arriving from London Heathrow only are permitted to have their PCR test conducted no more than 96 hours prior to flight departure. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from providing negative PCR test certificates.

COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice. You should check with your airline to confirm specific requirements, including around PCR tests, well in advance of travel.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Testing in coastal governorates

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 touch 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. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

You must comply with all instructions given by the Egyptian authorities. Failure to do so may result in you being refused permission to enter Egypt and/or legal enforcement.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British passport holders travelling to Egypt normally need a visa.

You can get a visa before you travel from the official Visa2Egypt portal or your nearest Egyptian consulate. Tourist visas granted using the e-visa system are valid for a maximum of 3 months. It is advisable to get a visa before you travel, particularly if traveling for work or business.

If you wish to get a visa on arrival, you can do so at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. The visa fee is US$25, payable in in pounds sterling, US dollars or euros. Visas granted on arrival are valid for a maximum of 30 days. There’s no need to buy a visa from an agent. In many cases agents will charge more than US$25 for a visa. If you’re harassed by an agent, report the incident to the tourist police in the airport terminal.

If you’re travelling to Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba resorts for up to 15 days, you will receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival. If you intend to travel out of these areas or stay longer than 15 days, you must get a visa.

If you have travelled to one of the South Sinai Red Sea resorts, entered without a visa and your plans have changed, you can normally purchase a visa at Sharm el Sheikh airport to allow you to travel elsewhere.

Applications for visa extensions should be made at Egyptian Passport and Immigration Offices. You may have difficulties leaving Egypt with an out of date visa. You will not normally be allowed to leave without paying a fine if your visa is out of date by more than 14 days.

For further information and enquiries, contact the Egyptian Consulate in London.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for exit from Egypt, but not accepted for entry or transit.

To leave Egypt on an ETD you will need to visit an Egyptian Passport and Immigraton Office to complete the exit formalities. Some passport offices outside of Cairo may assist, but in many cases you will have to complete the formalities at the Passport and Immigration Office:

12 Al Seka Al Bayda, Sarayat, Waily, Abbassia, (next to the Abbassia Police Academy), Cairo. Tel: 00227956301. Opening hours for the office are 8am-2.30pm, Saturday to Thursday.

Immigration clearance may take up to 5 working days for tourists and up to 2 weeks for residents. You should adjust your travel plans accordingly.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Previous travel to Israel

Evidence of a previous visit to Israel like as an Israeli entry/exit stamp in your passport does not normally cause any difficulties when entering Egypt. It is, however, for the Egyptian authorities to determine the right of entry into the country. If you have any concerns, you should contact the  Egyptian consulate.

Work permits

Evidence of testing for HIV is required if you are applying for a work permit.

Medication

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Egypt and can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from Egypt’s Ministry of Health. If you arrive in Egypt without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the country and you may be prosecuted under Egyptian law.

If you’re travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition. The Egyptian Embassy website states that this should be in the form of an official letter from your GP, specifying details of your condition, the quantity of medication you will be carrying and that the medication is for your personal use only.

For further information and specific queries, contact the Egyptian Medical Office in London on 020 7370 6944.

Customs regulations

There’s a limit of 5,000 Egyptian pounds that you are allowed to bring in or take out of Egypt. There is no limit to the amount of hard currency that you may bring in, but sums that exceed USD 10,000 should be declared on arrival. Certain valuables like electrical equipment, video cameras etc must be declared on arrival. Satellite phones and radio communications equipment brought into Egypt without prior clearance from the Ministry of Telecommunications are likely to be confiscated. Electrical items noted in passports on entry to Egypt must be produced on exit from the country. Failure to do so will result in payment of high rates of customs duty. Contact the Egyptian embassy in your country of residence for further information on customs requirements.

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