Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

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Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by DJKeefy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:23 pm

Egypt’s tourism industry is at a critical juncture as resorts try to win back visitors driven away by fears of civil unrest, religious intolerance and terrorism.

Back in 2010, the industry was thriving, with around 14.7 foreign tourists visiting Egyptian shores. But the turmoil that followed the Arab Spring and the ousting of dictator Hosni Mubarak saw this number plummet to just 5.4 million in 2016.

As the dust finally began to settle in 2017, tourists started turning to Egypt as a cheaper alternative to increasingly expensive package-holiday destinations such as Spain, Italy and Greece. But just as things were looking up, the reputations of major Egyptian resorts were hit by reports of foreigners dying as a result of food poisoning, shark attacks and even murder in the summer of 2018.

And, this month, human rights group Amnesty International released a report saying Egypt is “more dangerous than ever” following a brutal police crackdown on terrorism and dissent.

Al Jazeera says that people in the country are “facing an unprecedented attack on freedom of expression”, and Egyptian authorities detained at least 113 people in 2018 for peacefully expressing their views.

“Today, it is more dangerous to openly criticise the government in Egypt than at any other time in the country's recent history,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty's North Africa campaigns director, who added that space for dissent “is being crushed out of existence”.

The Egyptian government strongly denies the existence of political prisoners.

But, as a result of the crackdown, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website updated its guidelines in 2018, noting that expressing or publicising “strongly negative opinions about Egypt” or making political comments, including about the president or security forces, can “cause trouble with the authorities”.

“In some cases, derogatory comments on social media have led to custodial sentences,” the government department adds.

With the threat of terrorism looming on one side and an authoritarian government regime on the other, is a trip to one of Egypt’s seaside resorts safe?


TERRORISM

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says that terrorists “are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Egypt”, and that visitors “should be vigilant at all times and follow the advice of the Egyptian authorities”.

The troubled nation has suffered several terrorist atrocities in the past five years, including attacks against government and security forces, and on public transport, tourist venues and civil aviation.

However, recent trends suggest that the severity of the threat from terrorist groups in Egypt fluctuates dramatically from region to region.

There is no FCO advice against travel to Cairo, Alexandria, the tourist areas along the Nile, and the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.

The section of the country between the Nile and the Red Sea is also considered mostly safe. However, visitors travelling on roads in this region should expect to be stopped frequently at military checkpoints, where they may be questioned by officers.

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the Sahara desert, to the west of the Nile, citing a lack of security, and both the UK authorities and the US Department of State (DOS) strongly advise against all travel to the northern half of the Sinai Peninsula, to the east of Cairo.

This advice is down to the presence of Islamic State affiliate Daesh-Sinai, a terrorist group that has repeatedly targeted civilians in the region. On 31 October 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg exploded in northern Sinai, killing all 224 passengers onboard. Daesh-Sinai subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack.

The FCO now advises against all but essential air travel to and from Sharm el Sheikh, and with direct flights from the UK to the resort town currently suspended, “British tourists keen to support its beleaguered tourist industry must either fly indirectly or travel overland”, says The Independent.


SECURITY

The DOS reports that petty crime levels in Cairo and Alexandria are “moderate”, with a low risk in the rest of the country where travel is deemed safe. The US department notes that one of the most common problems faced by tourists comes from aggressive vendors at shops in urban areas, who will offer “free” gifts but then go on to demand money.

Meanwhile, the FCO warns that in recent years, British expatriates have “sometimes suffered armed robberies, muggings (including in taxis), sexual assaults, rapes, break-ins to accommodation and cars”. In 2017, the British Embassy in Cairo received eight reports of rape and sexual assault against UK nationals in the country.

“If you are travelling on a microbus, avoid being the last passenger left on the bus,” the department says. “Take extra care when travelling alone, particularly in taxis and microbuses.”

In addition, the DOS stresses that tourists should stay well clear of Egypt’s borders with neighbouring nations, as they are heavily militarised and strictly off-limits to non-military personnel. It is also illegal to photograph police stations, military barracks and other sensitive public buildings.


HEALTH

When staying in the more tourist-oriented regions of Egypt, health issues are by far the biggest threat to any visitor’s safety.

Unfortunately, Egypt’s resorts along the Red Sea coast have become “notoriously linked with food poisoning”, the Daily Express reports. In August, British nationals John and Susan Cooper died after allegedly being exposed to E. coli bacteria in their food at a hotel in Hurghada.

The DOS recommends that when selecting a restaurant, tourists should opt for “a clean and reputable place”, and “eat only freshly prepared, cooked foods, avoid all uncooked food including raw fruits and vegetables”.

Shark attacks, although very rare, have also claimed lives on the Red Sea coast. Since records began, 19 shark attacks have been recorded in Egypt. In August this year, a Czech man was killed by a shark in Marsa Alam, in the first such incident in the country since 2015.

A red flag serves as a warning of shark sightings on the Red Sea coast, a sign for tourists to stay out of the water.

Another potential risk is the weather. From April to October, Egypt experiences high temperatures and low humidity. In the Valley of the Kings and the nearby city of Luxor - one of the most-visited cities in the country - the average daily peak temperature from June to August is 40C to 42C, and has been known to reach as high as 50C. As such, precautions such as high-factor sunscreen and plenty of water are a must.


IS IT SAFE TO VISIT EGYPT?

Yes, but only with due diligence.

As well as avoiding high-risk areas as defined by the FCO or DOS, visitors should take precautions against extreme weather, check all food before eating it, and stay out of waters where sharks have been spotted.

Source: https://www.theweek.co.uk/97891/is-it-s ... pt-in-2019


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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Dusak » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:33 pm

So, whats on the positive side? :D
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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by carrie » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:29 pm

Walked past the Colossi the other day there were 5 coaches pulled up there, I have never seen so many tourists in Luxor as there are now for many years. Everyone is saying what a good season it is.

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by hatusu » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:58 am

Quote"And, this month, human rights group Amnesty International released a report saying Egypt is “more dangerous than ever” following a brutal police crackdown on terrorism and dissent. "
Where in the world isn't more dangerous than ever now?

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by carrie » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:08 am

Well as I said before whether Amnesty etc think things have got worse there are more tourists here than for a long long time. Many years ago I visited Franco's Spain I didn't care if he was a dictator' I like many who come here went because of the sun and sea.

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by crewmeal » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:37 am

So, whats on the positive side?
Better than walking the streets of Birmingham or London with murder at an all time high.

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Major Thom » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:21 pm

You live there Dusak surely you know..... I can well imagine everywhere is safe!! Providing you do not talk during the daytime hours, the evening and early morning. Oh and try not to talk in your sleep!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have not heard of anything happening that does not happen in any other Country since leaving 2 years ago. I think its just corruption, the fact they charge more sometimes double to tourists, and the fact people go there without stitched up pockets. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by carrie » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:35 pm

Perhaps the fact that "they" charged you more than double was because you didn't bother to learn the language you have often said you knew Imshi and other terms of abuse. or maybe just maybe it was because they didn't like you.

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Dusak » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:16 pm

crewmeal wrote:
So, whats on the positive side?
Better than walking the streets of Birmingham or London with murder at an all time high.
The difference being, there murders get publicized, here they get put under sand in the desert.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Major Thom » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:28 am

I am talking of charging the tourists double Carrie, they never charged me double because I would just walk out never to be seen again.... :lol:

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Dusak » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:20 am

Major Thom wrote:I am talking of charging the tourists double Carrie, they never charged me double because[ I would just walk out never to be seen again].... :lol:
Its good when you can please many thousands with such a simple action, well done you. :lol:
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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Major Thom » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:41 pm

Easily done in the end Dusak...

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by crewmeal » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:03 am

I don't think even Cairo yet alone Luxor can beat this

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ation.html

Four stabbings in 12 hours, similar in Birmingham. Where's the hangman when you need him????

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Re: Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2019?

Post by Major Thom » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:05 am

The only difference is in the UK its publisised and not swept under carpets. I appreciate it though that the ones that are publised in Egypt end up in an almighty gun shootout with the forces that be...

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