Egypt no longer on US State Deptartment travel warning list

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Nov 2016

Egypt and Morocco are the only countries in North Africa without travel warnings or alerts during holiday season

File Photo: This Aug. 30, 2015, photo, shows camels resting between rides with their owners against the backdrop of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's tourism minister Yahia Rashed hailed the US Department of State’s recent decision to classify Egypt as a safe country for travel, describing it as a positive sign for Egypt’s tourism sector.

"The decision is a message of reassurance on the safety of our touristic destinations," the minister said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Egypt was not included in the list , of countries that are facing a travel warning or alert, set by the US Department of State.

According to the US Department of State, a travel warning is an advisory against travelling to certain destinations, while an alert offers information citizens should be aware of before travel to certain places.

In Europe, only Azerbaijan is clear of travel alerts.

Egypt and Morocco Qatar, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Oman were the Arab countries without travel warnings or alerts, according to the US Department of State.

However, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo still "restricts its employees and their family members from traveling outside of Cairo without prior approval and advises all U.S. citizens to carefully consider the security implications of travel outside of the greater Cairo metropolitan area."

The US Department of State has issued an alert to its citizens on the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. The travel alert to Europe expires on 20 February 2017.

The State Department has urged travellers to avoid large crowds and tourist sites, citing previous attacks in France and Belgium.

Travel warnings remain in place until there is a change in the situation of the destination country, and are often in place for years, while alerts expire after a certain period if not renewed.

Travel warnings have been issued for countries including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine. 

(Additional reporting by Dalia Farouk)

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