Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo: is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Egypt has always been a popular tourist destination for European holidaymakers. Recently, however, the country has been in the news for all the wrong reasons as it continues to real from the worst violence in decades. Egyptian security officials are forcefully dispersing Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins across the country, resulting in spiraling injuries and deaths which is affecting the nation’s tourism industry. The question on many European holidaymakers' lips is this: “Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Egypt travel situation

As of the writing of this report, Egypt is under curfew due to continued unrest and violent clashes in Cairo and other major cities. The UK Foreign Office's 25th August 2013 update advises against all but essential travel to Egypt except for resorts on the Red Sea in South Sinai and those resorts on the Egyptian mainland in Red Sea governorate, including Hurghada.

If you were thinking of touring the archeological sites and museums in Egypt, the Egyptian daily newspaper al Alhram reports that won’t be possible because the Egyptian ministry of state for antiquities has closed all archaeological sites and museums across Egypt.

British Airways also says it has altered flights schedules to Cairo to ensure they do not land in the evening when the imposed dust-to-dawn curfew is in effect. A British Airways spokesperson said: "We are keeping the situation in Egypt under constant review. We are also offering customers the option of rebooking to a later date, or to another destination."

Thomson and First Choice (Britain’s biggest travel operator), however, reassures: “There have been no related incidents in Sharm el-Sheikh or any of the other popular Red Sea tourist areas." The travel operator says booking conditions for the resort destinations of Hurghada, Taba, Marsa Alam and Sharm el Sheikh remain "as normal." Tourists are flying into the resorts airports normally and the operator reports it currently has over 11,700 British tourists in the country.

Should you go?

If you are already booked to travel to Egypt on holiday, make sure you read up on your chosen holiday destination to know of any necessary precautionary measures you need to take. The UK travel association, while stating that travel conditions to Red Sea resorts are continuing as normal, advices against tourist excursions once in the holiday resorts. Please check up to the minute recent information about travel to Egypt on the Foreign Office website at fco.gov.uk.

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