Egypt: Britons advised to stay in hotel grounds

Britons have been confined to their hotel grounds in a Red Sea resort following the continuing unrest in Egypt.

Sharm el-Sheik on the Red Sea is a popular resorts with Britons. Picture: Getty

But although Germany has advised its nationals not to travel to Egypt, the UK Foreign Office (FO) yesterday said it was not advising against travel to the Red Sea resorts.

Having advised Britons in the resort of Hurghada to remain in their hotel grounds, the FO said: “We currently do not advise against travel to the Red Sea resorts, but advise British nationals to check our travel advice before going there.

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“We have urged British nationals to obey the regulations set out by the local authorities and the curfew, if they are in a resort affected by this.”

The FO added: “We are aware of clashes in Hurghada on August 14 and reports of a man being shot dead. We are concerned by these reports, and continue to follow developments around the Red Sea resorts closely, but do not judge that the resorts themselves are currently affected by the unrest.”

Travel organisation Abta estimated there were around 40,000 Britons in Egypt at the moment and reckoned that future bookings would be affected by the fact that the FO was advising against travel to areas away from the Red Sea resorts, such as Cairo and Luxor.

Tour operators Thomson and First Choice have 11,769 British holidaymakers in Egypt, many in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and the others in neighbouring Hurghada, Taba and Marsa Alam. A spokeswoman for the two tour operators said: “The safety of our customers is always our number-one priority. Following the reported demonstrations in Cairo and other locations, the FO is advising against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez.

“It is not currently advising British nationals to leave the country, and the advice has not changed for Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba and Marsa Alam.”

She added: “We are monitoring the situation closely in Egypt. The majority of our customers are in Sharm el-Sheikh, which is a considerable distance – indeed, an eight-hour drive – from Cairo.

“There have been no related incidents in Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Marsa Alam and the tourist areas of Hurghada. The FO has recently updated its advice for Hurghada, following reported demonstrations in an area away from the resorts.

“The FCO advises that enhanced security measures are in place to protect resort areas and … customers are advised to remain within the grounds of their resort.”

Thomson Airways had three return flights to Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday and two to Hurghada. Today, it has four return flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and five return flights to Sharm el-Sheikh tomorrow.

The Thomson and First Choice spokeswoman said normal booking conditions regarding cancellation of holidays still applied for the four Egyptian resorts.

Thomson Cruises has changed its itinerary for an Egypt & the Holy Land voyage on the Thomson Celebration vessel starting next Monday.