The US Department of State warns US citizens to consider the risks of travel to Egypt due to threats from terrorist and violent political opposition groups. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on December 23, 2016.
A number of terrorist groups, including ISIS, have committed multiple deadly attacks in Egypt, targeting government officials and security forces, public venues, tourist sites, civil aviation and other modes of public transportation, and a diplomatic facility. Terrorists continue to threaten Egypt’s religious minorities and have attacked sites and people associated with the Egyptian Coptic Church.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the country, including major metropolitan areas. In early May, ISIS media threatened that places associated with Westerners, Christians, the Egyptian military or police, and Egyptian government facilities could be struck at any time. The northeastern Sinai Peninsula remains a particularly dangerous area, with frequent attacks on security forces and civilians. There are also reports of attacks on security forces in Egypt’s Western Desert, the large, mostly uninhabited area west of the Nile Valley, and in Egypt’s border areas. The Egyptian Military frequently conducts counterterrorism operations in these areas.
For security reasons, US Mission personnel are prohibited from traveling to the Western Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. Overland travel is not allowed anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula, but US Mission personnel are permitted to travel to and from Sharm El-Sheikh by air. Mission personnel are prohibited from visiting religious sites outside greater Cairo.
The Egyptian Government maintains a heavy security presence at major tourist sites in and around greater Cairo and Alexandria; at Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Marsa Alam and other beach resorts on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean coast; and at many of the major temples and archaeological sites located in and around the Nile Valley cities of Luxor and Aswan, including Abu Simbel.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Egypt, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For further background information regarding FAA flight advisories and prohibitions for US civil aviation, US citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.