Tunisia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Mar 10, 2011
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for ongoing political and social unrest in Tunisia. Unrest has diminished and public order has returned in many areas; however, spontaneous and unpredictable events, such as work stoppages and demonstrations, have recently occurred. Although the Tunisian government has lifted the curfew, the state of emergency remains in force. The U.S. Department of State continues to advise U.S. citizens currently in Tunisia to defer non-essential travel to the central, western, and southern regions of Tunisia. The situation appears to have stabilized in the coastal touristic zone extending from Tunis in the north to Sfax in the south, including the island of Djerba. Travelers should note that the economic disruptions mentioned above have affected the level of services in the tourism sector. U.S. citizens should be aware of international humanitarian response operations underway, particularly at the Ras Jedir border crossing, where over 100,000 persons have crossed so far to escape the unrest in Libya. Thousands of displaced persons are currently in a transit camp near the border pending repatriation. Repatriation efforts have taken place from Djerba, Gabes, and Sfax. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert for Tunisia dated February 18, 2011, to provide updated information on the effects the current unrest has had on the tourism sector, and expires on April 9, 2011.
Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage. While demonstrations have not been directed toward Westerners, U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse.
Government security forces, including the police, Army and National Guard, are visibly present throughout Tunisia. Travelers should heed directions given by uniformed security officials and should always carry a copy of their passport as proof of nationality and identity. Security personnel, including plainclothes officials, may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. It is against Tunisian law to photograph government offices and other sensitive facilities. Suspicious incidents or problems should be reported immediately to Tunisian authorities and to the U.S. Embassy.
The Embassy is located in the Les Berges du Lac suburb of Tunis. The Embassy telephone number is +216 71 107 000 and the Embassy fax number is +216 71 963 263. The Consular section can also be contacted by email at ConsularTunis@state.gov.
U.S. citizens in Tunisia are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
Updated information on travel and security in Tunisia may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Tunisia, as well as the Worldwide Caution, which can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ travel website. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well.