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Travel insurance for Egypt

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What travel insurance do I need for Egypt?

Travel insurance providers often cover Egypt under Europe.

Make sure Egypt’s included on the list of countries before buying a European policy - if it isn’t then you’ll need a worldwide policy. There are worldwide policies that exclude the US which work out cheaper.

If you head abroad more than twice a year, it’s sometimes more cost-effective and convenient to buy multi-trip or annual cover rather than single-trip insurance each time

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Medical cover

Egypt’s public health system is generally poor - you can’t compare it to the UK system. Food and water contamination in the country is a problem too, so avoid raw food and stick to bottled water. Road accidents are common as well.

You’ll need a good level of medical cover to access private healthcare in Egypt - it can get quite expensive. Include cover for ambulances and repatriation.

If you receive treatment in a private medical facility, you’ll need to inform your insurer as soon as possible, preferably before agreeing to any treatment, or risk being hit by high costs that might not be covered.

The claims process for minor injuries, or illnesses caused by contamination, is usually different. If you receive medication from a pharmacist, for this you’ll need to pay upfront and claim back from your insurer when you get home - keep some cash aside just in case.

Can I use an EHIC card in Egypt?

No. Despite some insurers classing Egypt as Europe in their policies, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not cover you for medical costs in Egypt.

Vaccinations

Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. You risk having a claim denied if you become unwell with an illness that a vaccination could’ve prevented.

Typhoid fever - transmitted through contaminated food and water - occurs in Egypt. Rabies is also considered a risk in the country - avoid all contact with animals.

You can get travel advice on health in Egypt on the FCO website, while Travel Health Pro offers more information about vaccine recommendations.

Surfing and trekking

You can kitesurf and windsurf in Egypt along the country’s long, windy coastlines of the Red Sea and Sinai Peninsula, plus you can surf waves on the north coast.

The country is also home to some of the world’s most unique and oldest hikes and treks, including the Valley of the Whales and the Mount Catherine Trail.

Check policies to see if they’ll cover the specific sport or activity you want to do. Look for lists of included activities before you buy. And if you have trouble finding cover for a particular activity look for insurers that specialise in extreme sports cover.

Do I need a visa for Egypt?

If you’re travelling to resorts like Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Dahab and Nuweiba for up to 15 days, you’ll be given a free entry permission stamp on arrival. But if you intend to travel outside of these areas, or stay for longer than 15 days, you’ll need a visa.

You can get a visa in advance from the Egypt e-visa portal, or on arrival, for around $25 US dollars - it’ll be valid for three months.

For more information on entry requirements to Egypt, check the FCO website.

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