Important COVID-19 travel guidance
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, or Wales from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
Safety and security
President Saied was appointed after presidential elections in October 2019. A new government formed by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi was sworn in on 2 September. Demonstrations sparked by economic, political or religious tensions often occur and most protests are peaceful. However, since mid-January 2021 there have been a number of violent riots in cities across the country, including Tunis, Sousse and Bizerte, resulting in looting and vandalism. More protests causing localised disruption are likely and may occur in other areas with little or no warning.
You should keep up to date with developments, avoid all protests and places where large crowds gather and follow instructions given by the security authorities, your hotel and your tour operator, if you have one.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tunisian authorities have indicated there may be restrictions on movement between regions. You should check the latest guidance of local authorities before moving around the country.
There is a heightened Tunisian security presence at the borders with Libya and Algeria due to cross border terrorist activity and fighting in Libya. Border crossings are sometimes closed temporarily without notice. Some violent incidents have occurred.
The FCDO advise against all travel to the Chaambi Mountains National Park area, as well as Mount Salloum, Mount Sammamma, and Mount Mghila (all designated military operations zones). The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to all other areas within 10km of Mount Mghila.
Tunisian security forces continue to conduct operations. Security personnel have been killed and severely wounded in attacks and by booby-trap explosives in these areas.
Incidents of mugging, pick pocketing, bag-snatching and petty theft occur. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Where possible, avoid carrying all your important documents, money and other valuables in the same bag. You should remain alert to potential confidence tricks.
Personal attacks are rare but they do occur. Harassment of foreign women, including uninvited physical contact, can sometimes occur. Women should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK and take care when walking or travelling alone.
You can drive in Tunisia with a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to one year. You will need to have a 1968 IDP to drive in Tunisia. 1949 IDPs previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted in Tunisia. You can only get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.
If you’re living in Tunisia, it may be possible to drive on a UK licence for up to one year, providing that you meet a number of conditions and submit an application to the Tunisian Ministry of Transport. Please check the conditions and application process with the Tunisian Ministry of Transport. For any longer periods, you will need to apply for a Tunisian driving licence.
Driving standards can be erratic. There is very little lane discipline and often confusion about the right of way, especially at roundabouts. There are few pedestrian crossings and traffic lights are sometimes ignored. Take care when driving in towns as pedestrians tend to walk on the roads and have the right of way. Take particular care when crossing roads on foot, even where there is a signal allowing you to do so.
Roads are generally of a reasonable standard although large potholes can appear quickly following heavy rain.
You may come across military or police security checks. If you do, approach slowly, don’t cross boundaries without permission and be prepared to present photo ID if asked.
Demonstrations can occasionally affect road travel.
Rail travel is generally safe, although safety standards tend to be lower than those in the UK. There is a risk of petty crime on trains.