Travel Alert Status
Level 4: Do Not Travel
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.
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.
Safety and Security:
The current Travel Warning for Tunisia warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Tunisia.
A popular revolution led to the ouster of the former President in January 2011. Elections were held in October 2011, a new government assumed office in December 2011 and the drafting of a new constitution continues. General elections are expected in late 2013.
On September 14, 2012, a violent mob attacked the U.S. Embassy and the American Cooperative School of Tunisia, resulting in extensive damage to the Embassy and the school. Following the attack, the Tunisian authorities arrested some individuals suspected of involvement. The security situation in Tunisia remains unpredictable and a state of emergency remains in force. While most tourist and business centers remain calm, sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country.. U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and demonstrations because even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable. U.S. citizens should be alert and aware of their surroundings and maintain security awareness at all times. U.S. citizens should regularly monitor the local news media for current news and information. Travelers contemplating trips to the interior of the country should assess local conditions and routes when making travel plans, as conditions can change quickly. For more information please review the Travel Warning for Tunisia.
Tunisian nationals have been involved in international terrorism, and international terrorist organizations have on multiple occasions called for attacks in North Africa, including Tunisia.
Tunisian security forces have noted the increased availability of small arms and other weapons in Tunisia since 2011. There have been occasional clashes between armed groups, resulting in casualties and the declaration of temporary curfews. U.S. citizens should carefully consider all travel in the interior and avoid travel in remote regions in the south of Tunisia. All travel south of the designated military zone in the south must be coordinated in advance with Tunisian authorities. The Tunisian National Guard encourages persons traveling into the desert to register their travel beforehand. For details on how and where to register, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s desert travel page.
Tunisia has open borders with Algeria and Libya. Nevertheless, developments in Libya continue to affect the security situation along the border areas between Libya and Tunisia. The Ras Jedir and Dehiba border crossings may be closed occasionally and access to both crossings is strictly controlled by Tunisian security forces. Travelers should consult with local authorities before travelling to the border between Libya and Tunisia and read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Libya.
In late April 2013, the Tunisian authorities announced ongoing security operations against armed groups in the mountainous border areas of Kasserine and Le Kef. Some security forces were injured by improvised explosive devices (IEDS). Like the border with Libya, some crossings may be closed occasionally and access is strictly controlled by Tunisian and Algerian security forces. Travelers should consult with local authorities before travelling to the border between Algerian and Tunisia and read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Algeria.
Please refer to the Country Specific Information and other international travel safety and security information for Libya and Algeria. Please see the section below on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions for more information about traveling in the desert.
Government security forces, including the army, police, and National Guard, are visibly present throughout Tunisia. Travelers should heed directions given by uniformed security officials, and are encouraged to 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 security facilities. Suspicious incidents or problems should be reported immediately to Tunisian authorities and the U.S. Embassy.