Egypt's tourism ministry has announced that amateur photography in the country’s public spaces is now allowed.
Egyptian nationals and foreign tourists alike have complained that authorities have requested permits for shooting in public areas, and at times seized cameras and forbidden shooting even if a permit is in place.
In a statement, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enani announced that 'photography enthusiasts', foreign residents in Egypt and tourists will be able to take pictures in public without permits and that “no one will be allowed to ask you why you are filming in public”
“Taking photographs using all kinds of traditional cameras, digital cameras and video cameras will be permitted free of charge. No permit needs to be obtained beforehand,” it said.
In a telephone interview broadcast on MBC Egypt El-Enani explained that three types of photography are to be explicitly permitted.
The first applies to Egyptians, foreign residents in Egypt and tourists who are 'photography enthusiasts' - which we take as being most dive travellers.
The second type is foreign reporters and news channels who will be required to obtain permits through the State Information Service which will be in charge of setting rules and regulations for providing licenses for reporters and news channels.
The third type, El-Anani continued, is specific to film producers and cinematographers who will be charged license fees for filming inside Egyptian archaeological and touristic sites.
Restrictions will remain in place for photographing children and for commercial photography, the statement said. It also noted that “it is completely forbidden to take or share photographs of scenes that can, in one way or another, damage the country’s image”.