US Embassy Cairo Issues Warden Message for Voluntary Departure of US Citizens

The US Embassy in Cairo has issued Warden Message #5 dated January 20, 2011 informing American citizens in Egypt that the US Government is making preparations for their voluntary evacuation to unnamed locations in Europe: 

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe.  This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law.  U.S. citizens who travel on US government –arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safehaven location.  Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Egypt on Monday, January 31.  

Persons interested in departing Egypt via USG-chartered transportation should contact the US Department of State and Embassy Cairo by sending an email to or by calling 1-202-501-4444
Please provide the following information:
Name, age, place of birth and U.S. passport number
Any special medical needs or circumstances
Immediate family members (spouses and children) who are not U.S. citizens must be documented for entry into the safehaven country and/or U.S., if that is your final destination. 

Travelers are permitted only one piece of luggage per person.  Pets cannot be evacuated.

We are not sure exactly when is the tourist season over there.  But Egypt is a key international tourist destination, with over 300,000 American visitors annually.  A publicly available report from 2009 indicates that the resident American citizen population in the country is approximately 35,000.

The American Citizen Services unit there faces a growing caseload of parental child abductions; destitute and abandoned American citizen mothers with minor children; Internet marriages and associated claims of domestic violence; mentally ill American citizens; property disputes and others.  Evacuations are always challenging but in Egypt, it may be challenging and also complicated with family-related issues.

Read our post on the US Embassy Tunis evacuation of private American citizens to Morocco here with links to the official regulations.

Related item:

US Embassy Cairo to Evacuate Non-Essential Personnel and Dependents

On January 30, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of dependents and non-emergency employees from the US Embassy in Egypt.

The announcement also calls on U.S. citizens currently in Egypt to “consider leaving as soon as they can safely do so.  Cairo airport is open and operating, but flights may be disrupted and transport to the airport may be disrupted due to the protests.” Also:

In the event of demonstrations, U.S. citizens in Egypt should remain in their residences or hotels until the situation stabilizes.  Security forces may block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, and U.S. citizens should not attempt to come to the U.S. Embassy or the Tahrir Square area at such times. The U. S. Embassy is open for emergency services for U.S. citizens only until further notice.  As always, any change to Embassy hours will be posted on the Embassy website.  U.S. citizens in Egypt who require assistance, or those who are concerned that their U.S. citizen loved one in Egypt may require assistance, should contact the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at, or at 1-202-501-4444.

Read the new travel warning here.

We don’t know the exact numbers of dependents and employees considered non-emergency/non-essential personnel at the embassy.  But APP Alexandria has one officer and 49 local staff.  Embassy Cairo has approximately  476 direct hire staff, and 1,349 locally employed staff. Add to that the private amcits and the logistics are quite daunting. 

In related news —

The ground floor of the New Zealand embassy building was reportedly damaged by demonstrators in Cairo but will open on Monday.

An Azerbaijani embassy worker was also shot dead in Egypt yesterday. Nijat Gojayev, the embassy accountant, was fatally wounded when he was returning home from work in Cairo, ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Related item:
Post Evacuation Links for Employees and Family Members