British holidaymakers are able to return to the beaches of Tunisia for the first time in two years after the Foreign Office (FCO) lifted its ban on travel to the African country.
The FCO advised against all but essential travel to the country in the wake of a terrorist attack on a tourist resort in Sousse in June 2015 that left 38 dead, including 30 Britons.
In the years since, the country has seen tourism numbers tumble while Tunisian officials have urged the FCO to allow tour operators to return. Earlier this year, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said the safety of British nationals was its main concern.
Two days ago, it lifted its restrictions but warned that a state of emergency remains in effect across the country, imposed after a suicide attack on a police bus in November 15 and extended a number of times since.
The FCO still warns against travel to the south and west of the country, where it borders with Libya and Algeria respectively, and says “terrorists are still very likely to try to carry out attacks in Tunisia”.
“Security forces remain on a high state of alert in Tunis and other places. You should be vigilant at all times, including around religious sites and festivals,” the FCO says.
Tour operators suspended holidays to the country after the ban but some may now seek to re-introduce packages. However, it may be too late for this summer. Tunisia initially lost some 90 per cent of its British visitors in the wake of the ban, but has since seen the return of German and French visitors, whose governments did not retain restrictions for as long.