29 Jan

ABTA statement in response to Egypt protests

As of 29 January at 20.20 hrs, the Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to state: "We advise against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez. We recommend that British nationals without a pressing need to be in Cairo, Alexandria, or Suez leave by commercial means where it is safe to do so." British nationals in other areas of Egypt where there are demonstrations should follow the FCO travel advice and stay indoors wherever possible. This does not affect transits  through Cairo airport for onward travel to other destinations although there may be some disruption to flight schedules.

The vast majority of British holidaymakers in Egypt are based in resorts in the Red Sea area (for example Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada). This is a very considerable distance from the affected areas and these resorts remain unaffected. However, a nationwide curfew is in place from 16.00 hrs to 08.00 hrs local time. Customers currently in Egypt must respect the curfew and listen for announcements about any changes to the curfew requirements.

Any tourists based in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor or Suez should liaise with their tour operator or airline regarding their holiday arrangements. They should also follow Foreign Office advice, avoiding political gatherings and demonstrations and respecting any advice or instruction from the local security authorities.

There have been no reports of British nationals being affected by the unrest and foreigners are unlikely to be targeted. However, tourists should continue to follow the advice of their tour operator, local authorities and the Foreign Office.

Tour operators are regularly updating their policies in relation to Egypt:


Thomas Cook

Thomson/First Choice


  1. All but essential travel means that customers of ABTA Members who have booked package holidays to the affected areas of Egypt but have not yet travelled will be entitled to receive suitable alternative arrangements, rebook for a later date or,  where these aren’t available, a full refund. These arrangements apply to immediate departures only, and for the period the advice is in force. Customers with future departure dates should discuss arrangements with their tour operators. Customers whose travel arrangements aren't a package holiday should refer to the terms and conditions of the services they have bought to determine what their rights are.
  2. We estimate that approximately one million British holidaymakers visit Egypt each year with the vast majority of these based in resorts in the Red Sea area.