Russia Travel Advisory
August 15, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

International Travel

English

Country Information

Tunisia

Tunisia
Tunisian Republic
Exercise increased caution in Tunisia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise increased caution in Tunisia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.  

Do not travel to:

  • Within 30 km of southeastern Tunisia along the border with Libya due to terrorism.
  • Mountainous areas in the country’s west, including the Chaambi Mountain National Park area, due to terrorism.
  • The desert south of Remada due to the military zone.
  • Jendouba south of Ain Drahem and west of RN15, El Kef, and Kasserine, next to the Algerian border due to terrorism.
  • Sidi Bou Zid in central Tunisia due to terrorism.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Tunisia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, museums, resorts, hotels, festivals, nightclubs, restaurants, religious sites, markets/shopping malls, government facilities and security forces. A country-wide state of emergency, which grants security forces more authority to maintain civil order and enables the government to focus on combating terrorism, is in effect. 

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in some areas of Tunisia. U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside greater Tunis.  

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Tunisia. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Tunisia has a high level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.  

If you decide to travel to Tunisia:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel and see the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.  
  • Exercise caution when using public transportation, due to safety and security concerns.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Avoid staying overnight outside of the main cities and tourist locations.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Tunisia.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Border with Libya – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Developments in Libya continue to affect the security situation along the Tunisian-Libyan border in areas such as Ras Jedir and Dehiba along with the cities of Ben Guerdan and Medenine. The border with Libya is frequently closed to all traffic with short notice for extended periods. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Libya. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Western Mountains and Chaambi Mountain National Park – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist groups continue to operate in mountains of Western Tunisia. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The Desert South of Remada – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The desert south of Remada is designated as a military zone by the Government of Tunisia. Special authorization is required for travelers wishing to enter the military zone.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Jendouba El Kef and Kasserine near the Algerian Border – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist groups continue to operate in these areas. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Sidi Bou Zid in Central Tunisia – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist groups continue to operate in this area. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Import of Tunisian currency is prohibited. Visitors must declare cash brought into Tunisia in excess of TND 10,000 (or foreign currency equivalent). They must declare amounts above TND 5,000 if they wish to export that amount upon departure.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Export of Tunisian currency is prohibited. Up to TND 3,000 may be re-exchanged into foreign currency upon departure from Tunisia with the original exchange receipt. Visitors may only export up to TND 5,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) if that amount was declared upon arrival.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tunis
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Telephone: +(216) 71-107-000
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(216) 71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer
Fax: +(216) 71964-360
Email: TunisACS@state.gov

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Tunisia. 

Passports and Visas:

  • A valid passport is required.
  • For U.S. passport holders, a visa is not necessary for stays up to 90 days.
  • A residence permit is needed for stays longer than 90 days.  The residence permit can be obtained from the central police station of the district of residence.
  • U.S. citizens born in the Middle East or with Arabic names have experienced delays in clearing immigration upon arrival.
  • U.S. citizens of Tunisian origin and dual American-Tunisian citizens are expected to enter and exit Tunisia on their Tunisian passports. If a Tunisian-American succeeds in entering using a U.S. passport, he or she will still have to present a valid Tunisian passport to exit the country. 

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Tunisia. 

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – and most often target police and military forces in Tunisia. Terrorists may also target crowds and unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights) 

The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens in Tunisia maintain a high level of vigilance throughout the country. U.S. citizens living and working in Tunisia should understand that they accept the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks. The threat of anti-Western terrorist activity persists, as does the risk of death or injury as a non-targeted bystander.

Specific Areas to Avoid: Embassy Tunis regulations require advance notification to Embassy security officials of travel by Embassy personnel outside greater Tunis. Certain cities and governorates in Tunisia have a fluid and unpredictable security environment, and these areas require additional scrutiny before U.S. government personnel may travel to them. U.S. citizens should avoid the following areas due to terrorist activity:

  • Within 30 km of Libyan border in southeastern Tunisia.
  • Mountainous areas in the west of the country, including the Chaambi Mountain National Park area.
  • Jendouba south of Ain Drahem and west of RN15, El Kef, and Kasserine, next to the Algerian border.
  • Gafsa and Sidi Bou Zid in central Tunisia.

The following groups, including ones on the U.S. government’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, pose a high risk to U.S. citizens in the region:

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)
  • Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
  • Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T)

For more information, see our Terrorism page. 

Crime:  

  • Travelers should remain vigilant of their surroundings and take care to secure their valuables. Prominently displayed cash or jewelry may attract unwanted attention.
  • High-value items left unattended and visible have been stolen from vehicles, hotel rooms, and private residences.
  • Criminals have targeted tourists and business travelers for theft, pick pocketing, and scams.
  • Incidents of theft, robbery, and burglary have been reported in upscale neighborhoods during day and night. Violent crime is rare, however, an increase in incidents of harassment and assaults against women have been reported in Tunis among the expatriate community. Some of these criminal encounters occurred in dark or isolated areas surrounding commercial zones, public beaches, and parks.
  • Any crimes against U.S. citizens should be reported immediately to the local police and the U.S. Embassy.
  • Report suspicious activity to the local police.

Demonstrations: They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.  Demonstrations are most common on Saturday mornings and in the month of January.

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable. Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  •  Past demonstrations have turned violent. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories. 

International Financial Scams: Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Tunisia.  Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Financial scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help.  Common scams include:  

  • Romance/Online dating
  • Money transfers
  • Lucrative sales
  • Gold purchase
  • Contracts with promises of large commissions
  • Grandparent/Relative targeting
  • Free Trip/Luggage
  • Lotteries
  • Inheritance notices
  • Work permits/job offers
  • Bank overpayments

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 197 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(216) 71-107-000.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation   and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys 
  • Provide our information on United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism:  The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regards to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced.  Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout Tunisia.  Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. 

The Tunisian National Guard encourages persons traveling into the desert to register their travel beforehand.

  • No special authorization is required to travel to the desert as far south as Remada.
  • The desert south of Remada is designated as a military zone by the Government of Tunisia. If travelers wish to enter the military zone, for example to travel to Borma, a special authorization is required. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens against travel to this area.
  • Please visit the State DepartmentEmbassy’s desert travel page.

See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/health/insurance-providers.html).

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.  

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Tunisia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. 
  • It is against Tunisian law to photograph police, military, and government buildings.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol could land you immediately in jail.
  • If you break local laws in Tunisia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpage for further information.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Tunisia. Penalties include sentences of up to three years in prison.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details. 

Travelers with Disabilities:  The law in Tunisia prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, and the law is generally enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. 

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips

Women Travelers:   See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

For emergency services in Tunisia, dial 190. 

Ambulance services are:

  • not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • not present throughout Tunisia or are unreliable in most areas except Tunis, Sfax, Sousse, and Monastir.  
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment. 
  • not always staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment. 

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  Check with the Tunisia Ministry of Public Health or the Central Pharmacy of Tunisia to ensure the medication is legal in Tunisia.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Air Quality: Air pollution is a moderate problem in major cities in Tunisia.  Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary. 

Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. 

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals.  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Adequate but below U.S. standards health facilities are available in Tunis and other major cities.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources, supplies, staffing, and hygiene. 
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available.  Most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment before admitting a patient. 
  • Travelers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care. 
  • Be aware that travelers will not receive a medical report after service unless specifically requested.
  • Be aware that some hotels, resorts, etc. have exclusive agreements with medical providers, which may limit your choices in seeking emergency medical attention.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are very limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery 

  • U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic or other elective surgery.  
  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations.  Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism. 
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on Medical Tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Tunisia.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications. 
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Tunisia.  
  • Although Tunisia has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely.  If you plan to undergo surgery in Tunisia, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available, and professionals are accredited and qualified. 

Pharmaceuticals 

  • Tunisia has severe shortages of medications, and not all medications available in the United States are available in Tunisia.  Plan in advance before traveling.
  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas.  Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls.  Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients.  Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments. 
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States.  Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.  
  • Check with the Tunisia Ministry of Public Health or the Central Pharmacy of Tunisia to find available medications and restrictions on importing medication. 

Non-Traditional Medicine 

  • U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died while seeking medical care from non-traditional “healers” and practitioners in Tunisia. Ensure you have access to licensed emergency medical facilities in such cases.

Water Quality 

  • Outside of major cities, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel 

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: 

  • Driving in Tunisia can be dangerous. Visitors should avoid driving after dark outside Tunis or major resort areas or on country roads.
  • Drivers often fail to obey the rules of the road, even in the presence of police. Traffic signs and signals are often ignored, and drivers sometimes drive vehicles on the wrong side of the road or the wrong direction on a one-way street. Defensive driving is a must in Tunisia.
  • Faster drivers tend to drive on the left while slower drivers stay to the right. Traffic lane markings are widely ignored. Cars that wish to pass often signal with their headlights.
  • Drivers may be stopped for inspection by police officers within cities and on highways at any time, and drivers should comply.
  • Bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles are operated without sufficient lights or reflectors, making them difficult to see darting in and out of traffic. Motorists should also be aware of animals on the roads, particularly in rural areas.

 

Traffic Laws:  Drivers should be aware that if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in death or serious injury of another person, the police may take them into protective custody until they are absolved of responsibility. This can mean spending up to several months in detention. As with any arrest or detention, U.S. citizens taken into custody should immediately request that the police inform the Embassy of their whereabouts.

Public Transportation:  Exercise caution when using public transportation, due to safety and security concerns. Trains, buses, and taxi minibuses (known as louages) may be overcrowded, have unsafe driving practices, poor maintenance, and increased likelihood of criminal activity.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight:  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tunisia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tunisia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Tunisia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts.  Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Tunisia. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: September 22, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tunis
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Telephone
+(216) 71-107-000
Emergency
71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer
Fax
+(216) 71964-360

Tunisia Map