Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Egypt announce plans to resume direct flights between Cairo and Moscow beginning Sept. 17. Other restrictions in place.

Alert Begins 09 Sep 2020 02:50 PM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, heightened security

Egypt Air (MS) officials have announced plans to resume at least three flights per week between Cairo and Moscow beginning Sept. 17. Since July 1, authorities have allowed international flights to and from Egyptian airports. All travelers are required to complete a monitoring card and provide proof of health insurance to authorities upon arrival. Additionally, authorities have required that all travelers provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate upon arrival; the test must have been taken within 72 hours. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from the PCR test. Transit passengers with hotel accommodations who will not be staying at the Cairo International Airport (CAI) must provide a negative PCR test. However, transit passengers who do not have hotel reservations, but will be staying at CAI until their onward flight, are not required to provide authorities with a negative PCR certificate.

Authorities have eased some coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions since July 26. Authorities have extended restaurants and cafes' business hours to 2359 and have allowed them to operate at 50-percent capacity. However, shopping malls and shops are still required to close at 2200 daily. Movie theaters will continue to operate at 25-percent capacity until further notice.

Authorities lifted the nightly 2100-0600 nationwide curfew June 27. Other restrictions that have eased include:


  • On May 15, authorities reopened resorts and hotels on the Red Sea for domestic tourism, provided they do not exceed 50 percent of their occupancy capacity. All hotels must obtain a safety certificate from the ministries of health and tourism before they resume operations.


  • Authorities have reopened places of worship; however, mosques will remain closed for weekly Friday prayers and churches for Sunday masses.


  • Restaurants, cafes, and sporting clubs have been reopened. Restaurants and cafes can only remain open until 2359, while stores and shops will be required to close at 2200 daily.


  • Movie theaters will be allowed to operate at 25-percent capacity.


  • Authorities have resumed public modes of transport.


COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place include:


  • Authorities have banned all large social gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, until further notice, including services at mosques and churches.


  • Schools and universities are closed nationwide until further notice.


  • Public parks and beaches remain closed until further notice.


Further travel restrictions and other preventative measures are possible, depending on the evolution of the disease activity in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Egypt's travel restrictions and preventive measures are similar to actions other governments have been taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all business appointments and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center