Egypt

Overview

Consular Advice for Egypt

01 September 2020
COVID-19 Situation in Egypt

The Singapore Embassy in Cairo is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Egypt. Singaporeans who choose to remain in, or travel to, Egypt should bear in mind the risks involved and should take extra precautions by practicing social distancing, avoiding crowded areas and observing good personal hygiene.

Medical testing and treatment at public and private hospitals are not subsidised for foreigners in Egypt. Singaporeans should purchase their own comprehensive medical and travel insurance and be familiar with this coverage and terms for Egypt.

Singaporeans should also keep abreast of local developments and updates to local COVID-19 measures by monitoring local media and official social media pages of Egyptian government agencies.

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Travel to Egypt

 

From 1 September 2020, all travellers would be required to produce an official medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result performed within 72 hours before their arrival into Egypt. The medical certificate must contain the date and time the test was performed and be issued and stamped by an authorised medical facility. Children under six years old are exempted from this requirement.

Given that entry requirements may change at short notice, travellers are advised to refer to the latest advisories issued by the Egypt Ministry of Health and Population, the Egypt Embassy in Singapore, and the respective airlines to ensure that you have the latest and most accurate information prior to departure.

All arriving passengers will be subject to temperature screening and be made to complete a health declaration card which would require passengers to state their contact information as well as place of residence in Egypt. Visitors will also need to provide proof of a valid health insurance policy covering them during their stay in Egypt.

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Consular Assistance

 

Singaporeans who are instructed to be quarantined for observation, hospitalised in Egypt or require urgent consular assistance should contact the Embassy’s 24/7 Duty Officer at +20 109 806 4310 or the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Duty Officer at +65 6379 8000. Singaporeans in Egypt are also encouraged to e-Register with MFA at www.mfa.gov.sg to allow the Embassy to contact them in the event of an emergency or crisis. 

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Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Given the current COVID-19 situation in Egypt and the advice of MOH issued on 22 March 2020, Singaporeans are advised to defer all travel to Egypt. Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore. 

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A state of emergency remains in force since April 2017. While Egypt is generally stable, occasional security incidents continue to take place in Cairo and other parts of the country.

Singaporeans are advised to plan their travel to Egypt carefully and avoid any travel to the Western Desert, Egypt's land border areas with Libya, Sudan and Gaza and the North of the Sinai Peninsula (where active military operations are on-going). Singaporeans intending to travel to the tourist and resort towns in South Sinai are advised to travel by air to Sharm El Sheikh International Airport.

Singaporeans should purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with their coverage.

Those visiting or living in Egypt are reminded to monitor the local news closely, observe instructions from local authorities, and avoid areas where there are plans for large crowds to gather. Singaporeans are strongly advised not to take photos or video recordings of any demonstrations or security officials and their equipment. The import or use of any form of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles is strictly prohibited in Egypt, unless prior permission has been obtained from the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority.

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Terrorist Attacks:   While attacks occur periodically in parts of the country, most of the attacks have taken place in the North Sinai region. However, over the last two years, places of worship and civilians, including tourists, were targeted.  On 9 April 2017 (Palm Sunday) twin explosions in the Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria claimed the lives of 44 people.  On 28 December 2018, a road side bomb blast killed 3 tourists, their Egyptian tour guide, and injured 11 others, while their tour bus was travelling in the Giza district of Cairo. On 19 May 2019, a road side improvised explosive devise hit a tour bus travelling towards the Giza Pyramids complex, near the Grand Egyptian Museum. 17 people were injured. Most recently, on 4 August 2019, a car laden with explosives detonated in the area near the National Cancer Institute in Cairo, a short distance from downtown Cairo. 19 people died and 30 others were injured.

Crime: The majority of crimes against foreigners are petty thefts such as purse snatching, pickpocketing and scams (e.g. touting, forcing to buy souvenirs at exorbitant prices, overcharging for souvenirs, etc).  One should take extra precaution in crowded areas such as the metro, malls, markets and take care not to flaunt money or valuables.  While violent crime is low compared to major Western cities, there have been reports of armed robberies, muggings, sexual assault and housebreaking against expatriates in Egypt.  

Sexual harassment is rampant in Egypt and affects Egyptian and foreign women alike.  To mitigate the risk of harassment, foreign women are advised to dress more conservatively and ignore rude stares and comments. When taking a taxi alone, they should refrain from sitting in the front seat and/or sleeping in the taxi.  Additionally, women should refrain from going out at night alone. If necessary, they should be do so in large groups or with a male companion.

Local laws reflect the fact that Egypt is predominantly an Islamic country. Singaporeans are strongly advised to respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times.

Narcotics: Smuggling and possession of narcotics carry high penalties in Egypt, including life imprisonment and the death penalty.

Alcohol: Drinking of alcohol is only permissible in licensed restaurants and establishments. Drinking on the street is unlawful.

Photography: Photography of military installations, government buildings and Embassies is strictly prohibited. This includes the Suez Canal. Foreigners have been arrested for taking photographs of public buildings and infrastructure. This includes the use of radio-controlled helicopters and drones to capture images. Under Egyptian law, individuals can be detained indefinitely without charge.

Customs Regulations: Strict duties apply on the importation of expensive electronic items. It is also prohibited to export any antiquity or any item older than 100 years without a license.  Entering or exiting Egypt with more than US$ 10,000 or LE 5,000 in cash is prohibited.

Egypt is predominantly Islamic, it observes the Islamic tradition of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.  Please exercise sensitivity when consuming food and beverages during fasting hours, from sunrise to sunset.

The local currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).  Local banks and money changers do not accept the Singapore Dollar.  It is advisable to carry with you US Dollars (USD) or Euros (EUR) to exchange for local currency.  Alternatively you can withdraw EGP from the bank ATMs if your Singapore debit card is authorised for overseas withdrawals.  All major credit cards are accepted in larger stores or restaurants, but a transaction fee may be levied.

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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