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Travel Alert

Travel Alert – Egypt, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Egypt to the continuing possibility of sporadic unrest.  Egypt will hold the first round of presidential elections May 23-24, 2012, and if needed, a second round June 16-17, 2012.  The new president is scheduled to take office no later than June 30, 2012.  Political rallies and demonstrations are likely to occur in the period leading up to and following the elections and during the drafting of a new constitution.  In the past year, demonstrations have degenerated on occasion into violent clashes between police and protesters, in some instances resulting in deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage.  U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security.  The security situation in most tourist centers, including Luxor, Aswan, and the Red Sea Resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh, continues to be calm.  This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert dated November 7, 2011 and updates information on the security situation and upcoming elections.  This Travel Alert expires July 7, 2012.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations in Egypt, as even peaceful ones can quickly become violent and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse.  Several U.S. citizens have been arrested during demonstrations. Should security forces block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, U.S. citizens should not attempt to come to the U.S. Embassy during that time.  U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to carry identification and, if moving about alone, a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Egypt. 

The U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens’ Services by appointment.  U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment.  Visit the Embassy website to check the latest changes to Embassy hours or services.  U.S. citizens with routine phone inquiries may call the Embassy's American Citizens Services section at (20)2-2797-2301, Sunday to Thursday from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.  For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on (20)2-2797-3300.  The U.S. Embassy is closed on U.S. federal holidays. U.S. citizens in Egypt are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website at where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information for Egypt, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  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 the United States and Canada, 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).