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Tunisia travel advice

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Risk level

TUNISIA - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Tunisia due to the nationwide risk of civil unrest and terrorist attacks.

Regional advisory - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to to the following areas, due to recurring counter-terrorism operations:

  • the governorate of Kasserine including the Chaambi Mountain National Park area
  • Mount Mghila, located between the governorates of Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid
  • the forest located northwest of the city of Jendouba and the forest located west of Ain Draham, in the governorate of Jendouba
  • Mount Orbata, located in the governorate of Gafsa (east of the city of Gafsa, between El Ksar and Sened)
  • within 30 km of the borders with Algeria, except for the tourist cities of Tabarka, Nefta, Tamerza, Chebika, Mides and Ain Draham
  • within 40 km of the border with Libya in the governorates of Medenine and Tataouine
  • the militarized zone in Tataouine Governorate that lies south of, but does not include, the towns of Dehiba and El Borma

 

Regional advisory - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the following areas:

  • the towns of Jendouba, Remada and Sidi Bouzid, as well as the road corridor from the town of Sbeitla to Sidi Bouzid.
  • Tunisia’s Greater South in all areas south of the Jebil National Park (except for areas south of Dehiba and El Borma, where we advise against all travel).

 

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Safety and security

Political situation

In March 2022, Tunisia's president dissolved the Parliament.

Demonstrations may occur. They could turn violent and lead to clashes between protesters and security forces.

If you are in Tunisia:

  • avoid all demonstrations and gatherings
  • monitor local media to stay informed about the situation
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Mount Chambi National Park

There is a threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping in the area of Mount Chambi National Park in Kasserine Governorate. Ongoing Tunisian military operations against suspected terrorists occur regularly in the area. The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has been reported in the area.

Regularly review your security practices and remain alert to the changing situation.

Border areas with Algeria and Libya

There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping along the border with Algeria, especially in the mountainous areas in the northern half of Tunisia. The use of IEDs has been reported in the area.

Due to the flow of suspected terrorist cells and militants, as well as contraband,  between Tunisia and neighbouring countries, the Tunisian government has increased its security presence at borders with Algeria and Libya. However, the threat of cross-border terrorist activity remains and attacks have targeted security forces.

Tunisian security forces regularly conduct counter-terrorism operations in the border areas of the governorates of Jendouba, Kasserine and Kef.

The border between Tunisia and Libya may close with little or no notice and for an unspecified period of time.

Tunisia’s greater south area

The deterioration in the security situation in neighbouring Libya has resulted in greater volatility in southern Tunisia, particularly in remote areas. Remote areas, including the area south of Jebil National Park and desert areas, can have unreliable cellphone reception and few resources for assistance.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks have occurred throughout Tunisia. Since 2015, tourist resorts and attractions, as well as Tunisian military and state institutions have been targeted, and further attacks cannot be ruled out. On June 27, 2019, two suicide bombings occurred in downtown Tunis, killing two persons and injuring several others. Other parts of the country are also at risk of terrorist attacks.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
  • sports events
  • cultural festivals

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

A number of suspected terrorists and arms traffickers have been captured in various regions of the country, including the capital, Tunis. This indicates that extremist elements are present and that instability in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa continues to pose a general threat to the security of foreigners, religious sites, foreign institutions and tourist facilities in Tunisia. Security forces are on a high state of alert and carry out anti-terrorism operations across the country to prevent attacks.

A state of emergency was declared in 2015 following a deadly bus bombing targeting National Guard officers in downtown Tunis. The state of emergency is regularly extended and remains in effect until further notice. National and regional curfews, which are enforced by the police, may be imposed without advance warning.

Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times. Regularly review your security practices and remain alert to the changing situation.

Kidnapping

Kidnappings have occurred, along border areas.  Kidnappings are not numerous and do not usually target foreigners but cannot be ruled out.  

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Political, social and economic tensions have caused civil unrest throughout the country, but mostly occur in central and southern Tunisia and in parts of Tunis. Some demonstrations and labour strikes have led to roadblocks, burning tires and have deteriorated into violent clashes between the police and demonstrators, resulting in considerable property damage, injuries and deaths.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place or could occur as local conditions may change rapidly
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Sport events

Avoid the crowds that can form at soccer matches, as such events have led to incidents of violence.

Crime

Street crime, including theft, pickpocketing, purse snatching and scams, has been much more frequent in Tunisia since the 2011 revolution.

“Drive-by” thefts by individuals on scooters and motorcycles have occurred in tourist areas.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Be aware that Tunisian men have targeted Canadian women for fraudulent marriages (see Fraud).

Her own way – a woman’s safe-travel guide

Fraud

Young Tunisian men have pursued marriage with older Canadian women in coastal resorts, for financial gain or in order to gain entry to Canada.

More about overseas fraud

Road safety

Driving can be dangerous, particularly after dark.

Traffic signs and signals are routinely ignored.

Many roads in urban and rural areas don’t have adequate road lighting.

When walking, be especially cautious as cars don’t routinely stop at pedestrian crosswalks or stoplights.

Motorists sometimes drive on the wrong side of the road and ignore lane markings.

Bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles often operate without sufficient lights and reflectors, and regularly dart in and out of traffic.

Sidewalks are not consistently present and pedestrians are sometimes forced to walk on the street.

Pedestrians often cross the road while dodging traffic and ignore vehicles.

Police officers frequently stop cars for inspection, especially rental cars.

Public transportation

Taxis

Taxis are available but may be scarce in major cities at peak hours. Most taxis are equipped with fare meters, which should be activated for all trips. Few taxis have functioning seatbelts.  

Buses

Buses are crowded. Petty crime occurs in buses.

Trains

Rail service is generally safe. Petty crime occurs on city and inter-city trains. Be extremely vigilant with your belongings at all times.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Tunisian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave Tunisia.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required
Student visa: not required

If you intend to stay in Tunisia longer than 90 days, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Ottawa for information about visa, work permit or temporary resident status regulations prior to your departure.

In Tunisia, you must report to a police station or the Ministry of the Interior.

Dual citizenship

Tunisian authorities may ask Canadians with Tunisian citizenship to enter Tunisia on their Tunisian passports.

If Canadians with Tunisian citizenship are permitted to enter on a Canadian passport, it is likely that they will be required to obtain a Tunisian passport before exiting the country.

Dual citizens have been questioned at length and, as a result, have missed their flight.

If your Tunisian passport is no longer valid, contact the Tunisian embassy in Ottawa prior to travel.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in North Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis Aschistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insects and Illness

In some areas in North Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like leishmaniasismalariaRift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in North Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are generally good in major centres, but are usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas.

Physicians and hospitals often require a deposit or upfront cash payment for medical care. Some clinics may accept private insurance coverage if they have a guarantee of payment from the insurance provider.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Those convicted of these offences are subject to heavy fines and prison sentences of up to life.

Cannabis-derived products, including those containing CBD, are illegal. Detection of illicit drugs, including cannabis, in blood or urine tests can also lead to a conviction.

Useful links

Religious proselytism

Religious proselytizing is not permitted.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Tunisian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tunisia.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Driving

Both valid Canadian driver’s licences and international driving permits are accepted in Tunisia.

More about the International Driving Permit

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Tunisia.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Tunisia, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Child custody

A child born to a Tunisian mother or father can be considered by the Tunisian authorities as a Tunisian citizen, no matter where he or she was born and what other citizenship he or she has acquired.

In cases where one or more family members hold Tunisian citizenship, parents should consider the risks before their children travel to Tunisia, including that:

  • at the request of family members, Tunisian authorities can prevent children from leaving Tunisia (a procedure known as a “stop order”)
  • Canadian children who are identified as Tunisian citizens will be treated as Tunisian nationals

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Tunisia.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Tunisia by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Tunisia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Imports and exports

Strict regulations may be enforced on the temporary import and export of firearms, religious material, antiquities, medications and business equipment. Contact the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Dress and behaviour

The majority of the population is Muslim. Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when :

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking

Taking photographs of military installations, government buildings and embassies is strongly discouraged. Ask permission before photographing individuals.

Money

The currency is the Tunisian dinar (TND).

ATMs are widely available in tourist areas and can be found in all major centres. Credit cards are accepted at many establishments in urban and tourist areas.

You must declare all foreign currency upon arrival in Tunisia and retain this declaration. Tourists are expected to make foreign exchange transactions at authorized banks or dealers and to retain receipts for dinars obtained. Prior to departure from Tunisia, you may convert a maximum of DT3,000 ($2,000) into another currency, but must provide proof of purchase (customs declaration or proof of purchase abroad). Tunisian law prohibits the import and export of Tunisian dinars.

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Natural disasters and climate

The Sahara can be very hot, especially in the summer, with temperatures well above 40°C. Dust storms and sand storms frequently occur.

Although Tunisia is not in a high-risk earthquake zone, low seismic activity can occasionally occur. In winter, roads can be blocked by downpours.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 197 / 193
  • medical assistance: 190
  • firefighters: 198

Consular assistance

Tunis - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressLot 24, rue de la Feuille d’Érable, Cité des Pins, Tunis, TunisiaPostal AddressP.O. Box 48, 1053 Les Berges du Lac II, Tunis, TunisiaTelephone+216 70 010 200Fax+216 70 010 393Emailtunis.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-TunisiaServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to TunisiaTwitterCanada in Libya

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Tunisia in Tunis and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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