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Information and Alerts

Travel Warning - Tunisia

January 16, 2011

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the current political and social unrest in Tunisia and recommends deferring non-essential travel to Tunisia at this time. A state of emergency was declared in Tunisia on January 14. The Department of State has authorized the departure of all family members. U.S. citizens in Tunisia should closely examine their security situation in light of this and other recent developments and consider departing Tunisia. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Alert for Tunisia dated January 13, 2011.

The civil unrest has recently spread to Tunis and all major cities, including popular tourist destinations. These spontaneous and unpredictable events have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in multiple deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage. While these disturbances appear to be triggered by economic concerns, and not to be 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. The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens who decide to remain in Tunisia to defer non-essential movement and to exercise caution.

The Tunisian government has imposed a curfew for the greater Tunis metropolitan area until further notice. Although the curfew is currently in effect from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., the Tunisian government has changed the hours of curfew several times and the Department of State advises U.S. citizens to be off the streets between dusk and dawn.

Government security forces, including the army, 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 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 Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy. 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. These products and the latest international travel information for U.S. citizens are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.