Egypt protests - advice for travellers

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Protests continue across Egypt and are expected to escalate in the next few days as the growing clamour for political reform shows no sign of abating. Do you need to get the latest information? Lonely Planet has collated a handy list of links to up-to-the-minute news and travel advice.

Hot on the heels of the demonstrations in Tunisia that brought about the removal of their long-standing President Ben Ali, the wave of popular revolt may yet spread beyond Egypt. For now, travellers either in the country or planning a visit in the near future may need to revise their plans. Here’s a summary of the advice at this time:

Several countries are advising against all but essential travel to all of Egypt and say that their citizens who are in the country should leave. Others, such as the United Kingdom, are issuing different advice depending on which area citizens are travelling to and in. Warnings are in place advising against all non-essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Luxor, but the Red Sea resorts like Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab are calm and considered to be insulated from the instability by their remoteness and, to an extent, reliance on tourism.

The situation at Cairo Airport has been described as chaotic, and many parts of the city are subject to either military, police or civilian checkpoints intended to guard against looting. Those travelling in the Egyptian capital and to sights along the Nile are advised to contact their Embassy and airline or travel agent for advice. Flights are generally operating but at a revised schedule in order to avoid passengers needing to break the evening and night curfew in place.

If you haven’t travelled yet but are due to do so in the immediate future, contact your airline or travel agency for up-to-date advice. If flying to Cairo or Luxor then your airline should allow you to defer travel or claim a refund on travel in the upcoming weeks. If you’re not going for a month or more then you’ll have to wait it out. But do pick up the phone and call them: these are exceptional circumstances and you may be able to arrange something outside of the usual regulations. As winter sun trips to the Red Sea resorts are continuing as usual then, officially at least, there’s no leeway should you not wish to travel.

For further updates, the Egypt branch of the Thorn Tree has threads dedicated to keeping travellers informed, though updates from within Egypt are scarce, thank to a combination of travellers leaving the main cities and the ongoing internet and SMS blackout.