The United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice for Egypt Saturday, advising against nonessential travel to most of Egypt's Western Desert, according to the foreign office's official website .
"The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh," the update said.
However, the update made it clear that the "all but essential travel" advice doesn't include tourism areas along the Nile River including Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings, or the Red Sea Resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, as these areas are secure.
According to previous travel updates, the FCO also advises against all but essential travel to the Governorate of South Sinai except for the area within the Sharm El-Sheikh perimeter barrier.
The exception includes the Sharm El-Sheikh International airport and the areas of Sharm El-Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq. In addition, the FCO still advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai.
The FCO indicated that the reason behind the update was what it considered a "heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria," adding that British citizens "should be vigilant at this time."
It said that this threat is particularly pronounced in "remote desert areas," which explains why the office chose to put most of Egypt's Western Desert on the "all but essential travel" advice category.
More than 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year, according to the FCO.
The FCO also indicated that there have been "threats to western nationals, institutions, and businesses posted on websites and social media," adding that it includes all credible threats in its travel advice.
The Sousse terror attacks in Tunisia last June, which claimed the lives of 38 victims, including 30 British citizens, have increased the UK's travel concerns in the Middle East and North Africa.
After the attacks, the FCO said concerning Tunisia that "the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, reinforcing our view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely," that view might have influenced the foreign office's recent update.