A week before the latest troubles erupted in Cairo, the Russian government said they intended to ban charter flights to the Egyptian Red Sea resorts in view of the uncertain political climate. It could be that this is an overreaction but Russia does seem to be the only country that is awake to the fact that the situation in Egypt has actually worsened since the February Revolution rather than improved.
The current state of affairs was utterly predictable. We have been warning for some time that it would be foolish to plan a winter holiday in Egypt until, at the very least, elections were held and a new, reasonably stable government was in place. Tourists need not normally be too concerned about which party is in charge of a country but it is a fairly basic requirement that any country you visit should have a functioning police force. That has not been the case in Egypt since February and the whole country has just been held from anarchy by sticking tape and hope.
The UK FCO and tour operators have had their heads in the desert sands throughout the summer and autumn and appear to have ignored the looming problem. Bookings to Sharm el Sheikh were getting back to previous levels, helped by healthy discounts. Now, large numbers of tourists will be wondering if they were wise to book so long ahead for a holiday in February.
Our advice remains as it has been for the last several months. By all means consider visiting Egypt but keep a careful eye on the political situation and do not book more than a couple of weeks ahead. There will be plenty of rooms available so you are unlikely to lose out financially.