A visitor takes a photo of the Sphinx in Giza Governorate in northern Egypt. Press picture
The draft regulatory resolution says photography for personal use using any type of camera is permitted in public places free of charge and without the need for a permit, a Cabinet statement said.
However, cinematography, television photography, and photo shooting or documentary filming or for commercial, professional, and conversational purposes still require permissions.
Filming for journalistic, media, advertising and professional purposes also requires permits, according to the Cabinet.
In an interview with Al-Hekaya TV show on MBC Masr on Tuesday, Tourism Minister Khaled El-Enani said foreign journalists and TV channels will still need a permit from the Information Service of Israel. State (SIS) before turning.
However, the SIS is the only authority they need to visit as it will finalize all the required documents for them, he said.
Regarding cinematographic photography, El-Enani said that the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) is the current licensing authority.
Circumstances requiring a permit
The resolution also determined that shooting equipment should not be used and places where it is prohibited without a permit.
This includes state institutions such as ministries, legislative councils, government installations, police stations, buildings and sites belonging to the armed forces and other sovereign and security authorities.
This includes professional photography umbrellas, artificial outdoor lighting equipment and equipment that occupies or blocks public roads, according to another Cabinet statement on Wednesday.
The resolution also prohibits taking pictures of children and states that Egyptian citizens can only be photographed after obtaining their written permission.
“It is completely forbidden to take or share photographs of scenes that may in any way harm the image of the country,” the statement said.
Photography in archaeological sites
Photography at archaeological sites under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for personal use is permitted for Egyptians and tourists in accordance with the 2019 decision of the Board of Trustees of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the statement said.
Taking pictures with cellphones, cameras and video cameras is allowed inside museums and archaeological sites without using flash inside, the ministry added.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities has also established new regulations for commercial, promotional and film photography in Egyptian museums and at archaeological sites.
Photography permits (daily, weekly and monthly) have been put in place to encourage producers and companies to film in these areas, the statement said.
These decisions stem from the Ministry’s efforts to promote cultural tourism and Egypt’s unique civilization and aim to encourage tourism activities in Egypt.
Commercial and cinematographic photography
The permission service for commercial and film shootings is in the final stages ahead of its publication on the ministry’s official website to be launched soon, the ministry said. The website will include regulations in different languages for taking photos in public spaces.
Although photography in public places is not illegal under Egyptian law, except in certain places like inside and around security and military sites, it still requires a permit.
Over the past few years, foreign professional photographers have claimed that the police have prevented them from taking photos or asked them to delete some of their images.
American vlogger William Sonnebuchner advised against traveling to Egypt in a series of videos he posted on YouTube in April, saying police stopped him shooting and seized his gear.
YouTuber Sonnebuchner, whose Best Ever Food Review Show channel has nearly 9 million subscribers, called Egypt “the worst place to film in Africa”.