Tunisia reopens tourism with safety measures

Published on : Thursday, July 9, 2020

Over the years Tunisia has been constantly working toward revamping its tourism industry. In recent time, the country has encouraged international tourists to visit its scenic beaches, explore its ancient Phonecian and Roman ruins, and take camel rides in the Sahara Desert. The country looked forward to a flourishing tourism business this year but the coronavirus pandemic shattered the hopes of many.

In an effort to fight the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, Tunisia closed its international borders and observed strict national lockdowns and curfews. The country has ultimately successful in combating the pandemic with only a little over 1,200 positive cases and 50 deaths, a figure much less as compared to other North African countries.

However, the economy of the country suffered due to the pandemic and the lockdown resulted in high rates of unemployment. Tunisia’s Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh recently announced that the total economy could shrink by 6% in 2020. Tunisia’s tourism and hospitality industry specifically suffered in the hands of the pandemic in a time when it was already under recovery from the 2015 terror attacks.

After months of closure, the country finally reopened its international land, sea, and air borders on June 27 and is planning to recover the tourism sector. Tunisia’s Minister of Tourism Mohamed Ali Toumi has tried to reassure foreigners that the country is ready and safe for tourism while promoting the country’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He urged visitors to return back to the country to enjoy the beaches, seas, sun, gastronomy, history and heritage of the country. He mentioned that the venue will provide the best conditions and guarantee the best health precautions for travellers. Tunisia has already created the colour-coded system to identify the nationals allowed to enter the country based on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in their home countries.

Tourists from “green” countries with a comparatively low coronavirus prevalence rate, such as Italy and France, will be able to travel freely, while travelers from “orange” countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, will be subject to undertaking special measures including the requirement to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test. Nationals from countries non-listed, including the U.S., will not be allowed to enter the country for tourism as of now.

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