UK lifts Tunisia travel ban

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office Wednesday said it no longer advises “against travel to Tunisia, except for parts of the south and interior and certain areas near the borders with Algeria and Libya,” according to

Since the terrorist attack in Sousse in June 2015, which targeted tourists, the UK government has been working closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate the attack and the wider threat from terrorist groups.

Flights from the UK to Tunisia were banned since this date and the FCO had advised British travelers to avoid Tunisia except for “necessary” trips.

Since 2015, the UK government has implemented additional security measures in several countries including Tunisia but direct flights continue to depart to the UK from Tunisia, the FCO pointed out Wednesday on its website.

The FCO recalled that a state of emergency is in effect in Tunisia since November 24, 2015. It has been extended a number of times, most recently on June, 14, 2017 by 4 months.

“The Tunisian government has improved protective security in major cities and tourist resorts. Security forces remain on a high state of alert in Tunis and other places,” the UK government noted while recommending British tourists visiting Tunisia to remain vigilant at all times and to follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities and travel companies.

On this occasion, UK’s Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth office Alistair Burt announced Wednesday during a telephone conversation with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sabri Bachtobji that the British authorities decided to lift the travel ban to Tunisia except for several regions.

Quoted as saying in a Foreign Ministry press statement, Burt said this decision aims notably to boost the tourism sector in Tunisia comes following the clear improvement of the security situation in the country.

It also comes to materialise the fruitful co-operation between both countries in this field, he added hailing the important efforts made by the security and military institutions to secure sites, monuments and sightseeing tours in all regions of the country.

The Foreign Ministry further stressed that the contacts established with the British side concerning lifting the restrictions to travel to Tunisia had not ceased since the announcement in 2015 following the terrorist attack that targeted the Marhaba Imperial Hotel on June 26, 2015 in Sousse.

The latest contact with the British side dates back to May 3 on the occasion of British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson’s working visit to Tunisia, the ministry stressed.

The British minister had promised, during this visit, to reconsider the decision on the restrictions to travel to Tunisia while taking into account the privileged friendship and co-operation relations binding both countries.

TunisianMonitorOnLine (MNHN)

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