The U.S. Department of State recommended U.S. citizens avoid travel to Egypt due to ongoing political and social unrest. On January 30, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of dependents and non-emergency employees.
“Violent demonstrations have occurred in several areas of Cairo, Alexandria and other parts of the country, disrupting road travel between city centers and airports. Disruptions in communications, including internet service, may occur. The Egyptian government has imposed a curfew from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez until further notice, and U.S. citizens should obey curfew orders and remain indoors during curfew hours," the department said.
U.S. citizens currently in Egypt should consider leaving as soon as they can safely do so, the Department of State said. The Cairo airport is open and operating, but flights may be disrupted and transport to the airport could be disrupted due to the protests. Travelers should remain in contact with their airlines or tour operators concerning flight schedules, and arrange to arrive at the airport well before curfew hours.
“In the event of demonstrations, U.S. citizens in Egypt should remain in their residences or hotels until the situation stabilizes. Security forces may block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, and U.S. citizens should not attempt to come to the U.S. Embassy or the Tahrir Square area at such times. The U. S. Embassy is open for emergency services for U.S. citizens only until further notice. As always, any change to Embassy hours will be posted on the Embassy website. U.S. citizens in Egypt who require assistance, or those who are concerned that their U.S. citizen loved one in Egypt may require assistance, should contact the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at [email protected], or at 1-202-501-4444. Please follow the directions on the Embassy website for all other consular inquiries,” the department said in a release. “Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in injuries and extensive property damage. While demonstrations have not been directed toward Westerners, U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security.”
The U.S. Department of State strongly urged U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones could quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse. If caught unexpectedly near a demonstration, U.S. citizens should obey instructions from police and leave the area as quickly as possible. U.S. citizens in Egypt should monitor local news broadcasts and U.S. citizen visitors should ask tour guides and hotel officials about any planned demonstrations in the locations they plan to visit. U.S. citizens should carry identification and a cell phone which works in Egypt.
U.S. citizens in Egypt are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy to contact them in case of emergency.