Brits on holiday in Egypt’s popular Red Sea tourist spots such as Sharm el Sheikh have been told that it is unsafe to leave their hotels, despite the seaside resorts being an eight-hour drive from Cairo.

The Foreign Office released a report stating, ‘We advise British tourists to follow the regulations set by the local authorities and to obey curfews. British tourists should also ensure they keep valid identification with them at all times.’

The country’s capital has seen a battle between security forces and supporters of overthrown President Mohamed Morsi, resulting in the deaths of 525 civilians with 3,717 injured according to official reports, although the Muslim Brotherhood claims it is “far higher” than that.

Despite being hundreds of miles away from the bloody clash, diving trips and excursions from Red Sea resorts have been temporarily halted amid fears the violence will spread, although it is thought some excursions within Sharm el Sheikh will start up again today.

A state of emergency and a curfew has been issued in several cities in Egypt, although a curfew given in Sharm el Sheikh on August 14 was lifted the next day.

Tour operators Thomas Cook and Thomson said they are continuing to operate in Red Sea Resorts, but Cook has cancelled excursions to Cairo, Luxor, Moses Mountain and St Catherine’s Monastery.

Thomson said: “The safety of our customers is always our number one priority. Following the reported demonstrations in Cairo and other locations, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now 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, Hurghada, Taba and Marsa Alam. The majority of our customers are in Sharm El Sheikh, which is a considerable distance – an eight-hour drive – from Cairo.

“There have been no related incidents in Sharm El Sheikh or any of the other popular Red Sea tourist areas. We are working with the FCO to monitor the situation.”

Thomas Cook said its Red Sea resorts were “operating as normal”. “Our experienced teams on the ground have confirmed that no tourist areas have been further impacted and that our customers continue to enjoy these popular Red Sea resorts.”

President Barack Obama has condemned Wednesday’s massacre where troops opened fire on two camps of protestors. He has cancelled US joint military exercises, but is going ahead with the annual US military aid of $1.3billion. 

“Our traditional co-operation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back,” he said. “The Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the last several days. And to the Egyptian people, let me say: the cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop.”

Image: Getty