People have been coming to Egypt since the dawn of recorded history. After all, even during the time of the ancient Greeks, the Pyramids of Giza were already ancient wonders.
Therefore, it is little surprise that the government of Egypt has sought to reopen its borders as quickly as possible.
Luckily for those who want to visit, Egypt’s doors are once again open.
While most can fly right in, some may have to quarantine while test results are processed.
Egypt Reopening Borders to Tourism – NEWEST UPDATE
The situation is still very stable after reopening but PCR test (72 hours) to enter are still required for all the nationalities as well as Egyptian nationals.
As of September 9th, Egypt has 100,228 positive coronavirus cases and 5,560 deaths caused by the vires.
Which countries can enter Egypt?
At the moment, all the countries are allowed to enter the country but with a proof of negative COVID test. Double-check with your Embassy if you need a visa for Egypt.
Can Americans Visit Egypt?
Fortunately, Egypt is one of the countries that are open to US citizens. However, there are some restrictions.
First of all, all Americans must have a visa before visiting Egypt. Luckily enough, visas tend to be easy for most Americans to get. Simply go online and get an eVisa upon arrival, or get a single entry tourist visa (good for 30 days) upon arrival at most Egyptian airports.
Second, Americans should be prepared to offer a recent negative Covid-19 test. There are some exceptions for this. Those looking to go to the Red Sea resorts on Egypt’s eastern coast, or in the Sinai Peninsula, do not have to provide such information. However, there are relatively few flights that go straight from the US to those areas, so it is best to have test results in hand regardless.
Additionally, tourists to those areas will not be permitted to go further into Egypt without a negative test result, so if you’re looking to combine a trip to the Pyramids with your SCUBA adventure, it is well worth procuring the test in advance.
For more details visit also US embassy in Egypt website.
The reason for this difference is rather simple. Egypt is relying on limiting the spread of the virus to the Nile Valley, where the vast majority of its population lives. If enough contagious people show up in places like Cairo, the virus will quickly spread. By keeping any untested individuals away from the population, Egypt can still be a tourist destination while keeping its people safe.
That should likely inform your decision on where to visit in Egypt. Opt for being tested and stick close to the Nile River; while it is the most populated, it is also the region where people are most likely to have been tested for Covid-19.
Beyond the need for a visa and a negative Covid-19 test, be aware that Egyptian health authorities may well check your temperature upon arrival. Egypt’s economy needs to have tourism to survive, and therefore it is imperative that they take every imaginable precaution.
By the way, there are safe testing procedures in place in case you need to take a test before you leave, or if you are worried that you are developing symptoms. Ain Shams University offers tests to foreigners for 3,000 Egyptian Pounds, which is a bit less than $200 US.
Finally, while most Americans are exempt from formal quarantine requirements, those with recent travel in Florida, California, and Texas will be required to test upon arrival and stay in their hotels until a negative result is confirmed. Luckily, most of those tests are complete within 24 hours, so view it as a chance to recover from jetlag.
Please note that testing and accommodation charges are the responsibility of each traveler.
Egypt During the Pandemic
Despite having a population of over 100 million, and one where health insurance is still developing, Egypt did a remarkably good job in limiting the impact of Covid-19.
At the height of the pandemic in the country, in mid-June, 1,774 new cases were reported. Today, that stands at a much more manageable 111. To put that into perspective, that is less than two tour buses as Giza or Saqqara, spread across a country that is roughly the size of Texas.
Other factors also helped Egypt better handle the pandemic. First and foremost, Egypt has a much younger population than many other countries. Most of those 100 million Egyptians are under the age of 50, which means that they are less likely to develop symptoms of Covid-19. Additionally, the government has sought to impose social distancing and basic PPE regulations from an early stage.
In fact, the Egyptian government went as far as to sterilize all areas where tourists were likely to visit, including the Pyramids. Rest assured, that was probably the first time in a long time that the Pyramids were declared pathogen free!
What to do in Egypt?
One thing is sure, those who choose to visit Egypt during this time will have much of the country to themselves! Hotels are only operating at 70%, while most restaurants and cafes are operating at 25%. That means that you’ll have much of this country to yourself.
For those who have always wanted to go inside a Pyramid, now may well be the time! In the past, only around 300 people per day, divided into smaller groups, were allowed in. Given that tourist numbers at Giza have dropped considerably, your chances of being one of the lucky few increase dramatically!
That said, the Egyptian government is waiving a number of fees that normally add to the expense of visiting the country, like landing fees. Additionally, a number of museums and antiquity sites have drastically cut their prices in an attempt to make visiting even more attractive to foreign tourists.
For those willing to make the journey, Egypt is more than ready to welcome back tourists with open arms.