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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Security Message to U.S. Citizens No. 23: Travel to Sinai

August 3, 2012

U.S. citizens are encouraged to take precautions in travel to the Sinai.  There have been multiple kidnappings in the Sinai of U.S. citizens over the past four years, and kidnappings of foreign tourists in the Sinai have increased since January 2012.  In May 2012, two U.S. citizens were kidnapped and released a day later; in July 2012, two U.S. citizens were kidnapped and released a few days later. While thus far all known foreign kidnap victims in 2012 have been released unharmed, the danger of overland travel in the Sinai is significant. Overland travel from Israel to the Sinai in particular is strongly discouraged.  U.S. government personnel are currently prohibited from traveling to the Sinai, except by air to Sharm El Sheikh. Overland travel by U.S. government employees anywhere in the Sinai outside of Sharm El Sheikh is prohibited. 

U.S. citizens contemplating travel to Sinai should be aware of the risks.  They should consult the Country Specific Information for Egypt and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings before undertaking travel there. U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling in this region, and should monitor local news sources to find the latest information on the situation, as it can change unexpectedly. 

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide CautionTravel WarningsTravel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.  U.S. citizens are also encouraged to review "A Safe Trip Abroad", which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad.

You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and on Facebook.  Download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.   Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents. U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

For further information, U.S. citizens may telephone the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 630-4000, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at ((20) 2-2797-2301), and the U.S. Embassy in Amman at (962) (6) 590-6000 during working hours.  After hours (for emergencies), U.S. citizens may telephone the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7250, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7551, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at ((20) 2-2797-3300) or the Embassy in Amman at (962) (6) 590-6500.