Travellers to Egypt have been warned to steer clear of political rallies after at least four demonstrators were killed in two days of violent demonstrations in Cairo.

The alert from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office came as the country prepared for the prospect of further civil unrest. About 700 people have been arrested across the country as the authorities have sought to counter the protests.

The FCO said there is a risk of further demonstrations in the capital and across the country “which may also be violent”.

The FCO said: “British nationals in Egypt are advised to avoid political gatherings and demonstrations, and respect any advice or instruction from the local security authorities.”

Foreign secretary William Hague said: “We have updated our travel advice for Egypt to reflect recent developments. This advises people to avoid political gatherings and demonstrations. We will be keeping the advice under constant review.”

He added: “We deeply regret the loss of life in the Egyptian protests. All parties should show restraint and avoid violence.

“It is important that the government listens to the concerns of those demonstrating and respects rights of freedom of assembly and expression.

“Openness, transparency and political freedom are important tenets of stability. We urge the government and demonstrators to seek a peaceful way forward.”

The overall level of the advice has not changed and there are no travel restrictions in place in Egypt, the FCO said.