Traveling to Egypt during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

Editor’s Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you’re fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on July 7.

(CNN) — If you’re planning to travel to Egypt, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Egypt allowed the resumption of international flights last July, although all passengers must show proof of a negative test taken prior to departure (other than to three specified coastal resorts), as well as valid health insurance.

What’s on offer

Egypt is full of big hitters: the Pyramids at Giza, sensational museums and cafe culture in Cairo, not to mention some of the finest diving in the world in the Red Sea. Explore the desert through some of North Africa’s best hiking trails or take it easy at five star resorts complete with private beaches that slide gently into azure water. Cairo’s long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled for opening in 2021.

Who can go

All travelers can enter Egypt providing they can show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

What are the restrictions?

All arrivals into Egypt, including its citizens, must provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. This extends to 96 hours for arrivals from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London, Paris, and Frankfurt. The certificate must be written in English and Arabic and be stamped by an accredited laboratory. All travelers must complete a personal monitoring card and show proof of health insurance on arrival.

Alternatively, those arriving in the coastal governorates of South Sinai, Red Sea and Marsa Matrouh who cannot show evidence of a negative test are able to take a test and then isolate while awaiting the results, at a cost of $30. Those found to be positive must isolate for 14 days in a dedicated area of their hotel.
Most countries need an e-visa to visit Egypt, available here.

What’s the Covid situation?

Egypt has seen a total of 282,421 Covid cases and 16,306 deaths as of July 7. Cases have dropped significantly with the arrival of summer 2021, although there have been warnings about the spread of new variants. Vaccinations have begun, with a particular focus on Red Sea resorts, but less than 1% of the population is fully vaccinated .

What can visitors expect?

Masks are mandatory and must be worn on all public transit and in taxis, as well as in enclosed public spaces. Failure to wear a mask indoors could result in fines. There are also strict limits on public gatherings. Hotels, restaurants and cafes have also slashed capacity and brought in new hygiene measures to limit the spread of the virus.

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Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Barry Neild contributed to this report