File photo: Tourists take pictures at the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
A draft of the decree was approved by the cabinet in July.
The decree stipulates that Egyptians, foreign residents, and tourists are allowed to take pictures in public places free of charge and without obtaining a permit, using all kinds of analogue and digital photography cameras, personal video cameras, and tripods.
However, the decree prohibits the use of equipment that block public roads, or professional photography equipment, umbrellas, and artificial outdoor lighting gears without a permit.
It also stipulates that photography for personal use is not permitted in the following public places except after obtaining approval from the concerned authorities: lands, edifices and facilities affiliated to the ministries of defence, military production, and interior as well as other sovereign, security, judicial bodies, and parliamentary councils.
The decision also applies to other ministries and governmental premises and facilities.
The decree emphasised that photography for personal use should not be in violation of relevant laws.
Taking or publishing photographs that may damage the country’s image, offend its citizens, or violate public morals is prohibited, so are photographing children and taking and publishing photos of Egyptian citizens without their written consent.
In 2019, the Board of Directors of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (BDSCA) decided to allow the use of mobile phone cameras as well as traditional, digital and video cameras inside museums and archaeological sites without using the camera flash. The decision was meant to promote tourism and motivate local and international producers and production companies to shoot at archaeological sites and museums.
In 2021, incentive regulations were additionally approved by the BDSCA to allow commercial, promotional, and cinematic photography at Egyptian museums and archaeological sites, giving daily, weekly, and monthly photography permits for these services.
Permits for commercial and cinematic filming can be obtained by applying through the Ministry of Tourism’s official website which will soon be launched. The website will include regulations in different languages for taking photographs in public areas.