After arriving at Tunis-Carthage International Airport (TUN) on Air France, I prepared to enter Tunisia, which ended up being a breeze despite warnings of pandemic-related delays.
My International Arrivals Experience In Tunis
After stepping off the jet bridge, passengers are herded into an arrivals hall one level below the departures halls. Signs directed passengers toward toward either a transit security check or passport control.
The passport control area was a mess, with lines haphazardly formed, no social distancing, and few passengers properly wearing their masks. Half the booths were designated for Tunisian citizens while the other half were designated for foreigners.
As I waited in line, I filled out an arrivals form (which had not been presented onboard but thankfully I noticed as I was waiting in line). I also pulled out my negative COVID-19 PCR test and my proof of vaccination, which Air France said would be necessary upon arrival.
But when I reached the desk, the agent ordered me to pull down my mask, took my arrivals form, tossed it aside, and quickly stamped me through. He did not ask to see any COVID-19 documents. The process took less than 30 seconds.
I proceeded through baggage claim (I did not check any bags) and there met a health official randomly stopping passengers. She asked to see my proof of vaccination, which I flashed on my phone. Quickly taking a look, she motioned for me to pass through. My test was never checked.
And that was that.
Masks are technically only compulsory indoors in Tunisia, but I noticed nearly everyone wore one outside…below their nose and often below their mouth.
Finally, note you may be subject to random testing upon arrival, but I did not see anyone facing this.
Visas are not required for short-term tourist stays for most passports.
My arrivals experience into Tunisia (February 2022) was a breeze and I can only imagine it is even easier now, where COVID-19 tests are not even required any longer. Don’t let fear of complicated immigration deter you from visiting Tunisia, which I quickly fell in love with during my short stay.
Did I miss it or did you do a report on your arrival protocol (Covid test, vaccine card) at CDG?
Didn’t need one. The odd thing – I would have had I flown in directly into CDG, but since I flew into AMS and entered EU there, I was asked for nothing there and nothing in CDG either.
I am a writer trying to get background for a book (I’ve already self-published 12 novels). My characters must escape Egypt by boat, for they carry cuneiform tablets from a dig. They couldn’t leave the tablets with local authorities because they’ve already caught the attention of Muslim extremists seeking to kill them for their very public work validating the Bible. So, they flee on a friend’s boat at night and enter Tunisia at the La Goulette Port. What inspection would they face at the Port? You mentioned that your incoming inspection at Carthage Int’l Airport was 30 seconds and did not involve your carry on (apparently). Could my characters leave via Air France to Paris without carry-on inspection? Thank you for your time.
When I departed from ALG there was a very thorough inspection at the security check after passport control. All bags were X-rayed.
How about your Tokyo to Los Angeles surprise? You’re stalling. I’m not liking that…
That’s about like my arrival experience in Tunisia. It’s fairly easy, if slow and chaotic to enter.
Wait till you leave though – that’s a hot mess. It was better when I went in 2021 than it was in 2018, but not by much!
Welcome to Tunisia and thanks for your honesty reporting your journey.
I just entered Tunisia a few days ago and had a pretty different experience entering via a ferry coming into the port. I think my problem is that we were staying only one day and that hit enough suspicion that it got us pulled aside for an hour or so while they presumably called everyone and verified (hotel reservation, flight out, etc) everything. They also randomly covid tested us as we walked into immigration, but didn’t wait long for it to clear, appearing to just wait for the first line to show on the RAT without a second to wave us on. On the other hand we had a quick and smooth experience leaving through TUN which sometimes gets scathing reviews. Like you though, absolutely loved spending the time we did in Tunisia, (such nice people!) and as two queer women with brightly colored hair (and one of us transgender) traveling otherwise alone, had some brief and thankfully entirely unwarranted apprehension about it. Would definitely go back, but border control does seem extraordinarily hit and miss. We weren’t the only ones pulled aside for seemingly random reasons.
Maybe it was lost in the writing style but you seemed surprised they wanted you to lower your mask to ID you at passport control? I haven’t been to Tunisia since Covid started but it seems to be pretty standard to lower your mask at checkpoints to compare your ID to your face these days.
No, I wasn’t surprised about that. Only that most were not even wearing masks above nose.
I arrived from Gatwick the other day and they checked vaccination certificates at the entrance to the terminal after we got off the shuttle bus. Very slow line for passport control but I suppose that’s just bad timing.
You should have gone last year in the Summer of 2021. Every document was checked, one couldn’t even enter the pass control area without showing someone the negative Covid test, and the passport control area took over 3 hours!!! I landed at 5 pm Tunis time and left the airport 4 hours later.. It was a disaster. Had I not been in contact with my fiancé beforehand (before leaving Germany) , he would have thought I ghosted him But, all in all, very good experience there and I recommend it to all of my friends…. I even talk their fear down of how presumably dangerous of a country it is. It is very safe, especially Northern part of Tunisia.