Safety and security
Legislative elections took place in October 2014, and Beji Caid Essebsi became the country’s first democratically elected President in December 2014. The current government under Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was approved in parliament on 26 August 2016.
Demonstrations sparked by economic, political or religious tensions often occur. Most protests are peaceful, but some have affected key services, disrupted traffic or have become violent, especially in Tunisia’s south and interior.
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.
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 FCO advise against all travel to the Chaambi Mountains National Park area, as well as Mount Salloum, Mount Sammamma, and Mount Mghiba (all designated military operations zones), where 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.
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.
Driving standards are 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 pot-holes 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.