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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Egypt - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Egypt due to the unpredictable security situation and the threat of terrorism.
The Sinai Peninsula (except Sharm el-Sheikh) - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the Sinai Peninsula, due to terrorist activity and ongoing military operations by the Egyptian Armed Forces. This does not include the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the area within the Sharm el-Sheikh perimeter barrier, the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and the areas of Hadaba, Naama Bay, Nabq, Sharks Bay and Sharm el Maya.
The Western desert and Libyan border area - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the area within 50 kilometres of the border with Libya, the Siwa Oasis, the Western Desert, including the oases of Bahariya, Bawati, Dakhla and Farafra, and the White and Black deserts, due to smuggling, terrorist activities, the presence of armed groups and ongoing military operations.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place. You must wear a face covering in closed public spaces.
If you fail to respect preventative measures, you could be fined and face serious criminal charges for endangering public health.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
The security situation in Egypt is unpredictable and certain regions of the country (for instance, North Sinai, Western Desert, etc.) are particularly volatile and should be avoided. There is a significant risk of terrorist attacks throughout the country. Attacks can be indiscriminate and occur with no warning, including in Cairo. While attacks in the North Sinai are frequent and mainly target security forces, terrorists have also targeted popular tourist destinations, places of worship, and other places frequented by foreigners throughout Egypt.
Terrorists have targeted Coptic Christians and their places of worship, in both urban and isolated areas. Terrorists also attacked a mosque in the North Sinai on November 24, 2017, killing over 300 people. Avoid all religious institutions in Egypt.
There is a significant presence of armed security forces and police in most governorates throughout the country. A state of emergency is in effect. Curfews may be imposed on very short notice.
On May 19, 2019 and December 28, 2018, attacks on buses carrying tourists took place near the pyramids of Giza. The explosions resulted in multiple casualties.
There is an increased risk of incidents and attacks on and around dates of national significance, including:
- January 25, the anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution;
- The week of Orthodox Easter;
- June 30 to July 3, the anniversary of the removal of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013;
- August 14, the anniversary of clearing protesters from Rabaa and al-Nahda squares in 2013; and
- Other religious observances and holidays.
Exercise increased caution during these periods.
Be particularly cautious in commercial establishments, government facilities, public areas, tourist sites, the vicinity of churches and mosques at the time of religious services and any other areas frequented by foreigners. Avoid police stations, security installations and government buildings, as well as all crowds and demonstrations.
Borders with Sudan and Libya are porous, and bandits and armed groups are active in these areas. Attacks on security checkpoints and forces are expected to continue. Egyptian military and security personnel are also engaged in security operations in the area. If you intend to travel to these areas, consider the risks to your personal safety and ensure you have made appropriate security arrangements. Travel to these areas requires a permit from the Travel Permits Department at the Egyptian Ministry of Interior Affairs.
North Sinai Governorate
The security situation in North Sinai Governorate, particularly the areas bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip, is extremely unpredictable. Terrorist groups regularly carry out attacks against Egyptian security forces. A state of emergency is in effect, as is a curfew from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., due to ongoing Egyptian military operations against terrorist groups in the region. Road blockades by unsanctioned groups, kidnappings, robberies and carjackings by armed groups and terrorists occur.
South Sinai Governorate
While attacks are significantly less frequent than in North Sinai, terrorists have carried out attacks in South Sinai Governorate, targeting both security forces and tourists. Terrorist groups may expand targeted areas to include coastal resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh. While enhanced security measures are in place to protect the tourism infrastructure in Sharm el-Sheikh, the area may be seen as a high-value target by terrorists. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and follow the advice of local authorities.
Coastal resorts in Sinai, including Dahab, Nuweiba and Sharm el-Sheikh, have seen incidents of petty theft. Tensions between security authorities and local Bedouin tribes may rise unexpectedly, affecting tourism.
Red Sea resorts and Upper Egypt
Exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Red Sea coastal resorts (such as Ain el-Sokhna, el-Gouna Bay, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Safaga and Soma Bay) and to the Upper Egypt cities of Aswan and Luxor. While the beach resort areas are generally considered safe, sporadic terrorist attacks have targeted foreign tourists in recent years. Pay particular attention to local conditions if you are visiting Upper Egypt and the historic sites of the Nile Valley. Sectarian, economic and family-related disputes have occurred and can quickly become violent. Travel in large groups and by organized transportation, and follow the advice of local authorities, hotels and tour guides if you are travelling to rural areas.
While the size and frequency of demonstrations has decreased significantly in recent years, they can still occur anywhere at any time without warning, but are most likely to occur on Fridays following noon prayers.
Be extremely vigilant. Avoid all demonstrations or large public gatherings. Keep well informed of developing situations by monitoring local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Women should take particular care, as there is a serious risk of sexual assault during demonstrations; once surrounded by a group, it can be difficult to escape.
Rates of violent and petty crime have historically been low in Egypt, although there are reports that such crime has been on the rise given the economic downturn since 2011. Crimes such as pickpocketing, bag and purse snatching and home invasion, while rare, have become more common. Purse snatching and pickpocketing occur most often in tourist locations and on the metro. Be aware of your surroundings and vigilant for thieves using different strategies to distract and rob you.
Reports of carjackings are extremely rare, however they do occur. They generally target sports utility or other high-value vehicles. Although isolated areas and night driving present the greatest threat, there have been reported incidents in daylight hours and in busy areas of Cairo. Assailants are usually armed, and a variety of tactics may be used to get vehicles to stop, including throwing objects at the windshield, feigning a traffic accident or minor collision with the target vehicle, or “sandwiching” the target vehicle to force it off the road. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not resist as carjackers are typically after the vehicle and, if the carjacking is successful, will leave the driver unharmed.
If you are a victim of crime, report it to the Tourist Police or at a nearby police station as soon as possible. Request a copy of the police report at the time the report is made. Failure to report the crime while in Egypt makes it much more difficult to seek prosecution.
Women, particularly foreigners, are frequently subject to unpleasant male attention, sexual harassment and verbal abuse. This often takes the form of staring, inappropriate remarks, catcalls and touching. The risks increase around public holidays, when more men are in the streets.
Safe-travel guide for women
Unexploded landmines remain a risk in some desert and coastal areas, notably the Mediterranean shore, the Western Desert, the Sinai Peninsula and the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. Known minefields are not marked by signs, but may be enclosed by barbed wire. Seek local advice, especially if travelling off-road.
Road conditions are often poor and the rate of vehicular accidents is one of the highest in the world. Drivers generally have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe driving practices. Be cautious when crossing streets as drivers do not give pedestrians the right of way.
In the event of an accident, do not move the vehicle until the police arrive, unless you are in immediate danger, such as from a crowd and need to move to safety. Exercise caution when using taxis and the metro. There have been robberies and accidents involving both. Many taxis do not have working metres, and back seats are rarely equipped with seat belts. Women should not sit in the front seat, as this could be misinterpreted by the driver. The metro can be overcrowded and is not climate controlled but does have cars for women only on most lines.
Use vehicles and hire drivers from reputable travel agencies.
Safety standards for rail travel vary throughout Egypt. There have been major accidents in recent years, attributed to aging infrastructure, poor maintenance and human error. Exercise a high degree of caution.
Avoid microbuses because of hazardous driving habits.
Overcrowding and poor safety standards on ferries have caused accidents. Use reputable ferry operators.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Scuba diving / aquatic activities
Sharks and other potentially dangerous aquatic animals are present in the waters off Egypt. Certain beaches and dive areas may be subject to temporary closures. Exercise caution and seek advice from local authorities, and ensure to dive with reputable and licensed operators.
Crossing the border between Egypt and Israel is strongly discouraged at this time. The status of all crossing points can be verified prior to arrival with the Egyptian embassy in Israel or the Israeli embassy in Egypt. Cross-border movement regulations and restrictions are subject to change at any time and are the prerogative of the responsible authorities.
The Rafah border crossing point to the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by border authorities in both Egypt and Gaza, is subject to sporadic openings. Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel in this area due to ongoing military operations against terrorists. Consult local authorities and refer to the travel advice for Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip for further information.
Beyond the provision of a travel document (the passport), the Canadian government does not facilitate the crossing of borders by private citizens. It is the citizen’s responsibility to meet the entry requirements of the country where they wish to travel, in most cases either through application for a visa or simply by going to a point of entry. Authorities at the Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza have sometimes requested a letter or witnessed declaration from the Embassy of Canada to Egypt as a requirement to cross the border. The Canadian embassy is unable to provide such a letter or declaration. You should avoid all travel to Gaza. Furthermore, the Canadian government has very limited ability to provide consular services to Canadians in the Gaza Strip and once there, it may be difficult to leave.
General safety information
Although most tourist sites are open, the situation across Egypt remains unpredictable and less consistently safe than it was before January 2011. There is a potential for rapid escalation into violence where large groups of people are assembled
Egypt has a special police force to assist tourists. Officers wearing a distinctive arm band saying “Tourism Police,” can be found in hotels and at tourist sites.
Carry identification at all times. Photocopy your passport and other identification in case of loss or seizure.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory. While some countries have started to ease some of these measures, most remain in place.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Egyptian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Egypt.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Diplomatic and Special passport holders are required to have visas before arrival in Egypt.
Travelers attempting to enter Egypt with diplomatic or official passports who do not have visas will be required to remain, at their own expense, in the airport transit area until their immediate departure from Egypt can be arranged. The Embassy of Canada in Egypt cannot intervene in such matters.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Egypt.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Although a tourist visa to Egypt can be obtained at Egyptian airports for 25 USD for single entry, or 60 USD for multiple entry (the fee is subject to change at any time by the Egyptian authorities), it is advisable to obtain a visa to Egypt from the nearest Egyptian Embassy or consulate prior to arrival.
You may also apply for a tourist visa online through the website visa2egypt.gov.eg. There are other websites purporting to offer electronic visas, some of which reportedly charge double the official price, but the link above is the only official Government of Egypt portal for this service.
Canadian citizens who wish to extend the period of their stay in Egypt should address the Immigration Authority of Egypt. The Embassy of Canada does not issue documents to assist in extending the period of stay in Egypt. Canadian citizens attempting to depart Egypt after the expiration of their visa may be required to pay a fine at the airport. Travellers should ensure that they arrive to the airport early with sufficient Egyptian currency to pay any fines. If you intend to stay for more than one month and have obtained a visa from an Egyptian embassy or consulate abroad, a 30-day visa will be stamped in your passport regardless of the visa previously granted. You are responsible for renewing this visa.
Entry and exit stamps
You must show proof of an entry stamp in your passport when you leave Egypt. If you cannot provide proof of entry, you cannot obtain an exit stamp and will be denied exit.
If you have entered the country with a Canadian passport and have obtained a new one while in Egypt, you must have the entry stamp transferred to the new passport by the Egyptian Immigration Authority.This requirement also applies to newborns and dual citizens.
If a child is born in Egypt to a Canadian parent, a data stamp proving that the child was born in Egypt must be added to the child’s Canadian passport before the child can exit the country. Since there will be no entry stamp in the child’s passport, you must submit both the child’s birth certificate and Canadian passport to the Egyptian Immigration Authority to obtain what Egyptian authorities term the “data stamp.” Parents are advised to contact the Embassy of Canada as soon as possible to apply for citizenship and a passport for their child, so as not to further delay what can be a lengthy process.
In January 2021, the governments of Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen restored their diplomatic relations with Qatar and reopened their borders.
However, if you are planning to travel between Qatar and one of these countries, or transit through Qatar:
- verify your travel plans with your airline or travel agent
- Monitor local media for the latest development.
If you are contemplating onward travel to other Arab countries, bear in mind that Canadians have been denied entry because their passports bore an Israeli visa, an Israeli border stamp or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel, which would indicate they entered from Israel.
Medication and cosmetics
Egyptian authorities consider some prescription and over-the-counter medicines medications controlled substances. They will seize all narcotic and psychotropic medications, even if you have the original prescription. For all other prescription and over-the-counter medications:
- Carry the original prescription
- Ensure the medication is in its original packaging
- Don’t attempt to enter with more than 3 months’ supply.
Authorities also regulate the import of cosmetics and veterinary products.
Learn more from the Egyptian Drug Authority.
Health entry requirements
All foreigners planning to study, work or train in Egypt for longer than one month may be required to undergo testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Egyptian immigration authorities in Cairo’s Mogamma building provide information on this procedure upon application.
When entering from another country you may be required to provide proof of immunizations. Please verify with the Egyptian Embassy nearest to you before travelling.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - January 16, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs. Proof of vaccination is also required for travellers coming from or having transited through Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in North Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in North Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in North Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are below Canadian standards.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
The use of drugs and open consumption of alcohol (other than in licensed facilities such as hotels and restaurants) are prohibited. Transgressions could be punished by detention or other penalties.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. Capital punishment is a sentencing option for certain drug-related crimes.
Drones are strictly prohibited in Egypt; anyone convicted of unauthorized import or use of drone technology could be subject to lengthy jail terms and deportation. Unauthorized possession and usage of drones in Egypt may carry similar charges to espionage.
Photography of bridges, canals (including the Suez Canal), government, police and embassy buildings and vehicles, as well as military personnel and establishments is prohibited.
Publishing or posting social media or other content that could be perceived as critical of Egyptian society, government, security forces or the President may be considered illegal under Egyptian law. Convictions can carry heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences. There is a high risk of arrest in connection to social media posts considered critical of Egypt.
Due to the current security context and political sensitivities, be conscious of your behaviour and how it may be interpreted by Egyptian authorities. Visitors including researchers, journalists, activists and development workers could encounter problems with authorities, if their activities are perceived as suspicious. Meeting with members of or expressing support for organizations banned in Egypt could be perceived as criminal behaviour.
Suspects may be detained without charges or access to immediate legal counsel during investigative stages of a criminal case.
Strict duties apply on the importation of expensive electronics, including video and photographic equipment, laptops, and computer software and hardware. Such equipment should be for personal use and you should list it (model and serial number) and check it upon arrival and departure, in which case no duty will be collected. Appropriate permits and authorizations are required for the commercial importation of any type of electronics.
It is prohibited to export any antiquity or any item older than 100 years without a licence. Contact the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Ottawa for further information regarding customs requirements.
The currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP, E£).
A maximum of E£5,000 can be brought into or taken out of Egypt. You must declare any amount of currency equivalent to US$10,000 or more.
Traveller’s cheques and foreign currency are easily exchanged in hotels and banks. U.S. dollars are preferred, particularly at tourist sites. Some travel agents and tour operators request payment in U.S. cash only.
Major credit cards are accepted in larger stores and for larger purchases, but many merchants will only accept cash or may charge a fee for payment by credit card.
There are reports of Canadian citizens being forced into marriage without their prior knowledge or consent. For more information about forced marriages, see Marriage Overseas and Safe-travel guide for women
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Egypt.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Egypt, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
The Egyptian government considers Canadians who also hold Egyptian citizenship to be Egyptian while in Egypt, therefore our ability to offer consular services may be limited. You may be considered an Egyptian citizen if you were born to an Egyptian father, regardless of birth place.
Egyptian-Canadian men may be subject to military service when in Egypt. In order to be exempted, dual citizens are required to present many documents before leaving Egypt, including a document of discharge due to dual citizenship. This document does not necessarily provide an exemption, and obtaining it may be a lengthy process that could affect your departure date. The Government of Canada has no jurisdiction in the process, as the decision on military service rests solely with the Egyptian government. You should contact the Egyptian embassy or consulate in Canada before travelling.
The work week is Sunday through Thursday.Egypt’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour. Dress conservatively: for women, knee-length or longer dresses and long sleeves are preferable, and men should not wear shorts outside tourist areas. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Overt public displays of intimate affection are frowned upon in Egyptian culture.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2021, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 12.
Although the laws of Egypt do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated. Members of the LGBTQ2 community could face arrest under other charges, such as committing indecency, debauchery or scandalous acts. Members of the LGBTQ2 community in Egypt, as well as LGBTQ2 travelers in Egypt, have been subject to arrests by authorities for using online dating apps and social media. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Egypt.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Natural disasters and climate
Egypt, particularly Cairo and Eastern Sinai, is located in an active seismic zone. The country is also subject to sand and dust storms.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 112
- medical assistance: 113
- firefighters: 110
- COVID-19 inquiries: 105
Cairo - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Cairo and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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