Last updated August 18, 2021
Known for its ancient history and stunning landmarks, Egypt is a dream destination for many world travelers. But there is much more to Egypt than pyramids, mummies and hieroglyphs. And though these landmarks are bucket-list sightseeing for many, exploring the rich culture through cuisine, the arts and religion is an exciting experience for anyone. If you're planning a trip to Egypt, check out our Egypt travel tips before you go.
Travel insurance is mandatory for Egypt
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt has made travel insurance a requirement for all international visitors. There are no formal coverage minimums or requirements for travel insurance, except that the duration of the coverage must last for the entire duration that you're in Egypt.
Besides purchasing travel insurance, the other requirements for entering the country are as follows:
- All visitors 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 both English and Arabic and stamped by an accredited laboratory.
- All travelers have to complete a personal monitoring card, which will be presented along with proof of health insurance.
- Travelers arriving in the coastal territories of South Sinai, Red Sea and Marsa Matrouh who can’t show proof of a negative test are able to pay $30 to take a test while in Egypt, and then self-isolate while they wait for the results. If found to be positive, the traveler must isolate for 14 days in a dedicated area of the hotel they’re staying at.
Travelers who fail to comply with these requirements may face fines or prosecution.
COVID-19 in Egypt
Egypt has been hit with a relatively high number of cases since the pandemic began. Travelers, especially unvaccinated travelers, should exercise caution. For the most up-to-date information on the Covid rate in Egypt, consult leading medical authorities like the Centers for Disease Control or The World Health Organization.
If you decide to travel, here are some precautions to take:
Before you travel:
- Get tested with a viral test 1 to 3 days before your trip
- If you were exposed to COVID-19, are sick, or test positive for the disease, avoid travel
- Follow all entry requirements for Egypt and be sure you have all required documentation, including medical insurance that covers COVID-19 in Egypt
- Be sure you have all required documentation
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing protocols
- Wash your hands often
- Be vigilant. If you experience any symptoms take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around her
After you travel:
- Get tested as soon as you return to your home country
- Stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days
- If you don't get tested, it's best to self-quarantine for at least 10 days
Traveling from the United States:
- If you have a return flight to the U.S., you must get a viral test in Egypt no more than 3 days before your flight. And the test results have to be negative
- Keep your test results on hand in case you're asked for them
- Follow all United States guidelines and airline protocols
For the most up-to-date information, be sure to visit Egypt's Department of Tourism website.
Health & safety tips
Though popular tourist destinations are generally considered safe for residents and visitors, some parts of Egypt require increased caution due to unrest and terrorist activity. The Sinai Peninsula, the Western Desert and Egyptian border areas should be avoided by tourists, especially Westerners, unless absolutely necessary.
Women traveling alone in Egypt should exercise caution at all times as men can be notably aggressive and will not hesitate to harass, cat-call or even grope women who are walking alone in public. Dressing modestly and not attracting attention to yourself can help prevent these interactions. Likewise, avoid eye contact and conversation with strangers if possible.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for Egypt: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, and influenza. Some travelers might also consider vaccines for typhoid and yellow fever, depending on their histories and activity plans in Egypt.
A COVID-19 vaccine may be required once it is available in your area.
Visas and documentation
No matter the length of your trip, visitors will be required to obtain a visa from one of the Egyptian diplomatic missions, unless they reside in one of the visa-exempt countries that are eligible for a visa on arrival. Eligible countries include all European Union countries, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, U.K., and the United States).
Regardless of the country in which you’re from, visitors must hold passports that are valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival to Egypt.