Egypt Q&A: What about holidays in the danger zone?

As the summer hots up in Egypt, Simon Calder explains how the turmoil affects travellers

Q Has the Foreign Office issued a blanket ban on travel to Egypt?

A No. While the FCO recommends against "all but essential travel" to most of Egypt, that does not apply to the locations where most British travellers go: the coast of South Sinai, notably Sharm el Sheikh, and the Red Sea resorts on the Egyptian mainland. And it is only advice; travellers to other parts of Egypt cannot be compelled to stay away.

Q What about holidaymakers currently in the "danger zone"?

A "We are not recommending immediate departure," says the Foreign Office, but British nationals are advised to "keep a low profile and pay close attention to their personal safety". Anyone already in Egypt will continue to be covered by their travel insurance, though some policies may exclude claims arising from civil unrest. Travel insurance does not cover emergency repatriation due to conflict, which falls within remit of tour operators and the British Embassy.

Q And those booked to travel imminently?

A Package holidays to the area deemed off-limits will not go ahead while the FCO advice remains in place. Holidaymakers can choose between an alternative holiday or a full refund.

Independent travellers are in a different position. The travel insurance of anyone who goes to the Nile Valley after the advice changed overnight on Wednesday will be invalidated. Yet airlines are continuing to operate normally and have told me they are continuing their schedules as normal. They have no legal obligation to allow changes. However, the main UK carriers to Egypt, BA and easyJet, are permitting passengers to switch to other destinations free of charge.

Q "Peak season" in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan begins in the autumn; will holidays such as Nile cruises go ahead?

A Tour operators are watching the unfolding drama in Egypt closely. Abercrombie & Kent has already cancelled all its small-group trips up to the end of September, and others will be making their judgements in the coming days. The one near-certainty is that the decline of tourism in the Nile will continue, with very serious consequences for the people who depend on the industry.

Q Can holidaymakers booked to the "safe" Red Sea resorts change their plans if they feel unhappy about travelling to Egypt?

A They have no legal right to do so, though it is possible some holiday companies may allow people to switch if they wish.

Q Would you go to Egypt right now?

A No, but only because of the excessive heat. Were I to go, I would be more worried about road safety than the danger of being caught up in the conflict.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence