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Tunisia Travel Information

Tunisia Travel InformationTunisian authorities have closed the borders and imposed strict restrictions on domestic traffic. A curfew has been introduced. For more information about coronavirus, see the section Health.

Safety

In recent years there have been several minor terrorist attacks. At the beginning of March 2020, there was a suicide attack outside the US embassy in Tunis, where the two attackers and a policeman were killed.

Terrorism: Terrorist attacks on western destinations and tourist sites pose a risk in Tunisia. Both al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) and other local groups are active. Several of the terrorist attacks have been targeted at tourists, but security forces are also the target of many of these groups. Visitors should therefore be cautious when traveling near public buildings or near police and security forces.

In June 2015, a terrorist killed 39 people, all European tourists, at a beach hotel in Sousse. Isil has assumed responsibility for this attack. Just over three months earlier, 21 European tourists were killed when terrorists attacked the Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis.

Authorities reintroduced the state of emergency in November 2015, and this continues to apply. The state of emergency gives the security authorities extensive powers to, inter alia, to dissolve assemblies, restrict freedom of movement and impose curfew. There may be a larger supply of police and military in central areas. There have been a number of cases of social unrest and demonstrations in several parts of the country in recent years. These can degenerate into violence, and visitors should stay away.

  • Countryaah: Tunis is the capital of Tunisia. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

Crime: Pay attention to pickpockets and other criminals. Avoid traveling with expensive jewelry, watches and other valuables that may attract unwanted attention Keep your mobile phone, wallet and passport in a safe place. Should you experience being robbed, contact the nearest police station to report the theft.

Possession and use of any drug, even in minimal quantities, is strictly prohibited and severely punished. Bring a doctor's certificate if you have any prescription, addictive drugs in the country. It is illegal to take pictures of police/security forces and military installations.

Traffic safety and transport: Traffic rules are rarely respected and great care must be exercised everywhere and at all times. Travel on unlit roads after dark is advised, especially in porky areas.

Avoid pirate taxis. Use e.g. taxis that have been "pre-approved" by serious hotels. Travel with so-called "louages" between the cities is not recommended. It is a good standard on motorways, but the national roads have variable quality. It is advisable to use aircraft or trains for longer transport stages. If Tunisian authorities are held responsible for a major traffic accident, they risk imprisonment pending trial. When interfering in minor traffic accidents, one should fill out a form called "Constat Amiable", which is signed by both parties. The form is available from the insurance companies and car rental companies.

The authorities have roadblocks in both urban and rural areas. Especially outside the major cities and tourist zones, one should be prepared to be stopped along the road for ID and travel documents. Please note that terrorist/ criminal actors have been setting up false roadblocks in the countryside.

Political unrest/demonstrations: After the revolution in 2011, Tunisia has been characterized by demonstrations and social unrest. Both resident and visiting Norwegians should avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Follow the advice of local authorities and follow on local media.

Women's safety: In Tunisia, traditional clothing and hijab go hand in hand with western dress code. Outside of major cities and tourist areas, however, it is advisable to cover your knees and shoulders to avoid unwanted attention.

Should you be harassed or run into other problems, scream or create a scene so police or others can come to your rescue.

Sexual orientation: Homosexuality is punishable in Tunisia. Transsexuals can also be prosecuted.

Travel registration : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends all Norwegians traveling to Tunisia for short or long stays to register on www.reiseregistrering.no/

Insurance: Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid travel insurance.

Local emergency numbers: Police 197, Ambulance 190, Fire/Accidents 198, National Guard 193, Power/Gas 196

Emergency: Norwegian citizens in need or crisis are asked to contact the Tunis Consulate General for assistance:

Consulate General Royal de Norv¨¨ge in Tunis Rue du Lac Constance, Immeuble Carthage Center, Block B, no B4, 1053 Les Berges du Lac, 1053 Tunis, e-mail: general@cons-nor.tn, telephone: +216 71 860 924

The embassy in Algiers can also be contacted by email: emb.alger@mfa.no / tel. +47 23 95 55 83.

If it is urgent, contact UD's 24-hour operating center on +47 23 95 00 00. The center can also be reached by e-mail: UDops @ mfa.no.

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Norwegian citizens on tourist visits can stay in Tunisia for up to 90 days without a visa.

Citizens with Norwegian-Tunisian (dual) citizenship should be aware that the country's authorities consider them Tunisian citizens during their stay in Tunisia. This limits the amount of assistance the Norwegian authorities can provide. Norwegian women who are married/cohabiting with Tunisian citizens must be aware that any common children automatically become Tunisian citizens if their father is Tunisian.

Pets can be introduced but must be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccination certificate and health certificate must be presented.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): On March 2, the coronavirus (covid-19) was detected in Tunisia. To stop the spread of disease, Tunisia has closed its borders and adopted strict restrictions on domestic traffic. A curfew has been introduced. Further measures may be coming. For more information, see WHO situational updates on the Coronavirus disease situation report. Also consult local media, eg La Presse, TAP: Information is also available on the website of the Tunisian Ministry of Health, including on the Ministry's facebook page

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs discourages all travel to and residence in the border areas of Tunisia towards Libya and Algeria, as well as the Jebel Chaambi National Park area in the Kasserine government and the Tataouine government in the south of the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends travel to Tunisia outside Tunis and the Mediterranean tourist areas which are not strictly necessary.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

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The health services are adequate in the larger cities, and primarily in private clinics. Evidence of valid health insurance is often required.

The hospital standard in public hospitals is generally lower than in Norway.

For information on vaccine needs before traveling to Tunisia, see the Institute of Public Health's website.

Major problems can arise if you do not have valid travel and sickness insurance. Private hospitals do not accept admissions without proof of valid health insurance (any advance payment).

Well-stocked pharmacies are available in large numbers, but you should bring special medicines that you know you will need.

The World Health Organization (WHO) can also provide information on the health conditions in the country.

There is a danger of rabies from wild dogs and cats. Most Tunisians drink tap water, but foreigners are advised to stick to bottled water. Fruits and vegetables should be washed well. It is especially important to be careful until you wait for the local bacterial flora. The cleanliness of the larger hotels and restaurants is satisfactory.

Practical information

Always carry your passport with you (possibly a passport copy) in case you are asked to identify yourself by the security authorities.

The official language is Arabic. French is widely used and the language most often used in central administration and business. Road signs are listed in both French and Arabic. English is widely used in the tourism industry.

The current is 220 volts. Voltage may vary and power outages may occur.

Tunisian Dinars are not convertible for private transactions and can neither be introduced nor executed. Tourists must keep exchange receipts in order to recover Tunisian dinars upon departure.

Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most cities and major tourist destinations and can be used for withdrawing local currency from an ATM. American Express and Diners are somewhat less common.

Internet cafes (Publinet) are widespread. There are three nationwide GSM networks: Tunisie Telecom, Ooredoo and Orange. Larger hotels also have wifi. The national internet domain is.tn, national telephone code +216.

Opening hours are for shops: 09.00 - approx. 20.00, often closed for two hours at lunchtime, banks: 08.00 - approx. 5.30, closed Saturday and Sunday (weekend), offices: 08.00 - approx. 17.00, closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday (weekend).

Many Tunisian holidays are moving as they follow the Muslim lunar calendar. The end of the fasting month of Ramadan (Aid El Fitr) and the day of sacrifice (Aid El Adha) are among the most important, as well as Mouled and Islamic New Year. January 1, January 14, March 20, April 9, May 1, July 25, August 13 and October 15 are regular holidays.

Time difference: At summertime, Norway is one hour ahead.

Tradition, religion and the family community remain strong in Tunisia, although women's positions are freer than in most other Arab or Muslim countries. The tourist areas and the capital are characterized by Western influence, and dressing as in the West in these areas is no problem. Sun dresses, shorts and short-sleeved blouses are acceptable.

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