Egypt relaxes ban on street photography for tourists, up to a point | Egypt
Visitors and residents no longer need to take their photos of Egypt’s streets on the sly, after the Ministry of Tourism announced that amateur photography in the country’s public spaces is now permitted.
Foreign vloggers and social media influencers have recent months have drawn attention Egyptian authorities’ practice of preventing people from taking photos and videos, even at tourist sites, and of confiscating photographic equipment.
In a statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the country’s cabinet on Wednesday “approved new regulations governing photography, for personal use” by Egyptian residents and tourists.
“Taking photos using all kinds of traditional cameras, digital cameras and video cameras will be allowed free of charge. No permits need to be obtained beforehand,” he said.
Egyptian nationals and foreign tourists have complained that authorities have asked for permits to shoot in public spaces, and sometimes seized cameras and banned shooting even if a permit is in place.
Restrictions will remain in place for photographing children and for commercial photography, the statement said.
He also noted that “it is completely forbidden to take or share photographs of scenes that may in any way harm the image of the country.”
The relative relaxation of Egypt’s draconian photography rules could bode well for its tourism sector, which generates more than 10% of GDP and employs around 2 million people in the country of 103 million people.
Egypt has been struggling for years to revive the vital sector, hit repeatedly by the country’s revolution in 2011, subsequent unrest and the Covid-19 pandemic.
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