Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

ALERT - COVID-19 Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place....Read more

ALERT - COVID-19 Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place....Read more

  • Reviewed: 19 March 2020, 14:30 NZDT
  • Still current at: 19 September 2020

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Tunisia.

Local authorities in countries and territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19 may impose containment measures including travel restrictions and quarantine requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.

Such measures may be imposed at short notice and specific details may change rapidly, including where and to whom they apply to and for how long. All travellers should stay informed of measures being taken by authorities in the areas they are travelling to. We recommend that all travellers consult the official website or the nearest embassy or consulate of your country or territory of destination to find out about any border controls and other measures that may apply to you.

For information on countries and territories which have COVID-19 related border restrictions affecting foreign nationals, including travellers in transit, please check the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website before you travel.  IATA provides a comprehensive list of all countries and territories that have imposed COVID-19 related border restrictions and is being continually updated.

As part of its response to managing the COVID-19 outbreak, the New Zealand Government has some temporary travel restrictions in place in New Zealand. Please refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for up to date information.

For further travel advice and information about COVID-19, please see our webpage here. We encourage all New Zealanders living and travelling overseas to register with us.

There is a significant threat of terrorism in Tunisia. Ongoing insecurity and conflict in Libya and the presence of terrorist groups in that country continues to affect the security situation and threat environment in Tunisia. There is currently a state of emergency in Tunisia, which has been extended a number of times, most recently on 05 July 2019.

There have been a number of attacks in Tunisia in the past targeting foreigners and tourists.

On 27 June 2019, two bombs exploded in Tunis causing at least one death and several injuries.

On 31 March 2018, 2 foreigners were attacked by an individual with a knife in the town of El Kef, in northwest Tunisia.

On 7 March 2016 an attack in Ben Guerdan resulted in 12 deaths of security officials and civilians.

On 26 June 2015, 38 foreign tourists were killed in a terrorist attack in Port El Kantaoui, near the beach resort town of Sousse. Reports suggest the attacker deliberately targeted foreign tourists.

On 18 March 2015, a terrorist attack took place at the Bardo Museum in the centre of Tunis. Twenty one tourists were killed and many others were injured.

There have been other terrorist attacks in Tunisia directed against government and security forces. On 29 October 2018, at least eight police officers were injured in a suicide bomb attack in Tunis. In recent years, attacks in the Chaambi Mountains have killed a large number of soldiers. The risk of cross-border terrorism has increased as groups in the wider region have improved their capability.

While security measures have been increased in recent years, particularly in tourist areas, further attacks are likely, including in large cities and locations known to be frequented by foreigners. Foreigners and tourists may continue to be deliberately targeted. Authorities may restrict travel or enforce local curfews at short notice.

New Zealanders in Tunisia are advised to exercise a high level of security awareness at all times, particularly when visiting public places frequented by foreigners, such as hotels, shopping centers, places of worship, tourist sites, bars and restaurants. We recommend monitoring local media to stay informed of potential risks to your safety and following any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfew measures.

Civil Unrest
Protests in response to religious, political and economic tensions occur frequently in Tunisia, which sometimes affect key services. Although protests are not normally against foreign interests, international events can trigger anti-western protests, and some become violent.

New Zealanders in Tunisia are advised to avoid all large gatherings, protests, demonstrations and rallies as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.

Petty crimes like pickpocketing, bag snatching, mugging and scams are common in Tunisia. New Zealanders are advised to remain vigilant, be security conscious in public places, guard belongings carefully and never leave bags open or unattended.

Border areas
The risk of cross-border terrorist activity and kidnapping is especially high in areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Médenine and Zarzis and within 30 kilometres of the border with Algeria. There is a heightened security presence in this area due to the deteriorating security environment. Kidnappings have occurred along the border with Algeria and we strongly advise against crossing this border by land. Border crossings are sometimes closed temporarily without notice. 

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Tunisia to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.  

Homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia and foreigners have been imprisoned for public indecency in recent years. Missionary work by non-Muslims is also illegal, and may result in deportation.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Tunisia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Tunisia are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Cairo, Egypt is accredited to Tunisia

Street Address 8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt Telephone +202 2461 6000 Fax +202 2461 6099 Email Web Site Hours Sun-Weds 0900-1500 hrs, Thurs 0900-1330 hrs Note In an emergency or if you require urgent assistance, please call the Embassy on +202 2461 6000. Outside of business hours you will be redirected to an after-hours duty service.

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Egypt

Street Address
8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt

Telephone: +202 2461 6000

Fax: +202 2461 6099



Hours: Sun-Weds 0900-1500 hrs, Thurs 0900-1330 hrs

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