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Warden Message No. 11: New Travel Guidance for Official Personnel

Warden Message No. 11: New Travel Guidance for Official Personnel

May 5, 2011

The security environment in Egypt has neither dramatically deteriorated nor improved over the last several weeks as GOE military has continued to diminish its presence and police units have increased theirs in most neighborhoods.  Military-imposed curfew hours are from 0200 to 0500 hours and, as in any large metropolitan area, the potential for serious incidents increases significantly during hours of darkness.  Observance of the GOE military-imposed curfew is mandatory.  The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has imposed additional restrictions on its personnel to include a curfew for official personnel is 2400 hours (midnight) until 0500 hours in the morning, and a curfew for school aged children of official personnel is 2200 hours until 0500 hours.  We therefore highly recommend that extra precautions be taken if work or important personal tasks require that you be out after sunset.  Remember to vary your times and routes and inform colleagues of travel outside of your neighborhood and your expected time of return.

 

The Embassy has issued the following guidance to official personnel regarding travel in Egypt:

Travel by official personnel outside of Cairo:

  • Personal travel by air is permitted to Sharm, Dahab (it is okay to transfer from Sharm Airport to Dahab via road), Luxor, and Aswan.

 

  • Personal travel to Alexandria is permitted with a partner, by car, train, or by air.
  • Personal travel to Ein Sukhna and Hurghada is permitted with a partner by car or official tour company bus and only during daylight hours. 
  • Personal travel to Taba and Fayoum are NOT permitted at this time.

 

Here are some ways to practice good security:

 

  • When walking alone in your neighborhood, it is advisable to inform a responsible person of your destination and your expected time of return. 

  • During hours of darkness, it is advisable to walk or drive with an adult partner.

 

  • Schedules that are the most predictable leave you the most vulnerable.  Be unpredictable when possible in both your work and social schedules.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.  Do not be distracted by talking on your cell phone/BlackBerry, headphones, and music.  In traffic, always attempt to leave space in which to maneuver.

  • Avoid choke points in travel.  Be wary of diversions.

  • If you are being followed or harassed by another driver, try to find the nearest police station, safe haven, hotel, or other public facility to call the Police.  Never lead the person back to your home or stop and get out.

  • When walking in public, make sure you carry belongings such as your handbag on the opposite side of cars passing you.  It is advisable to make sure you hang your bag tight under your armpit, and not let it hang or swing down from your hand.

  • Use the side walk where possible.

  • Keep your windows up and doors locked while driving.

 

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide CautionCountry Specific Information for Egypt, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, including the current Travel Alert for Egypt, can be found.  You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and on Facebook.  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 1-202-501-444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).