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PREPARATIONS FOR THE OPENING OF THE TOURIST SEASON IN TUNISIA: “READY AND SAFE”

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Measures undertaken by the Tunisian Government against Covid -19 epidemic

by Her Excellency Mrs. Raja Jhinaoui Ben Ali Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tunisia in Romania

Since the beginning of March 2020 and from the fifth case of coronavirus already, Tunisia has increased the protection measures against the spread of COVID 19.

After the initial suspension of the maritime crossings from Northern Italy, the Tunisian authorities announced the temporary suspension of all maritime journeys with Italy, as well as the limitation of the crossings with France, registering one journey per week from Marseille. Similarly, cultural events were postponed, and all classes in schools and universities were suspended starting March 12th.

On 13thof March, a second level of the state of emergency started, by the compulsory closing down of coffee houses, restaurants and discos starting with 4 pm, the suspension of collective prayers and the annulment of congresses and cultural events. Sports competitions were organised behind closed doors.  Maritime borders were closed, air connections with Italy were interrupted, and limited with France, Egypt, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. Moreover, anyone entering the country had to go through self-isolation for a period of fourteen days.

Starting with 18th March supplementary measures were taken, such as closing down of terrestrial and air borders, banning of reunions, closing down of souks (markets) and hammam and establishment of reduced working time. The state of emergency was decreed starting with 18thMarch 2020, by the limitation of leaving home between 6 pm and 6 am, on the whole territory of Tunisia. Total isolation as well as interdiction of all travels to other cities were imposed. A specialised robot was used on the streets to supervise the observance of measures imposed to the citizens.

Only 1,5 million out of 12 million Tunisians worked during this period to ensure the continuation of the public administration and vital sectors.

Easing measures starting with 4thof May 2020

Starting with 4thof May, Tunisia started the first of the three phases of easing measures decreed by the government, which intends to restart, gradually the economy between 04-14 June 2020, depending on the evolution of the pandemics in the country.

President Kaïs Saïed decreed, on 13thof May, the flexibility measures, going from the initial programme (6 pm- 6 am.) to 10 pm- 5 am.

This strategy will be re-evaluated in the following weeks, on the basis of the results recorded on site. Moreover, people over 65, persons with immunity deficiencies or chronic diseases, pregnant women, and children under 15 are still in isolation.

In the sectors meant to restart, either totally or partially, the companies need to observe several obligations:

implementation of the protocol regarding sanitary security: compulsory mask wearing, hand washing and physical distancing in particular;

nomination of a responsible for COVID19 in charge for ensuring the observance of these measures in the company

total disinfection of establishments before activity resumption

transport of employees in accordance with the health protocol

PREPARATION OF A PROTOCOL FOR HEALTH

Among the preparations for resumption of touristic activities in Tunisia, after the Covid-19 epidemic which has affected the whole world, the National Office for Tourism in Tunisia has drawn up a manual of sanitary procedures called „ Protocol  for health for the Tunisian tourism anti-Covid 19”  (PSTT anti- Covid-19).

This manual concentrates on the observance of health and safety norms during travel for tourists starting with arrival at the border check points until departure, as well as for the personnel of touristic units. The method adopted for the development of instructions and hygiene rules rely on risk analysis, with the use of 5M method (matière, matériel, milieu, main d’œuvre, méthode) all along the touristic chain of the client’s journey.

Main objectives of PSTT Anti-Covid are:

to control of pandemic’s spreading in touristic units;

to ensure the safety of both staff of touristic units and clients; 

to regain trust for sales networks and tour operators as soon as possible;

to present a healthy product from the point of view of sanitary security.

Moreover, this document remains open and will include new information, recommendations and other instructions, depending on the possible evolution of pandemics spreading.

This document was revised and validated by the Institute for Health and Work Safety (ISSM).

To download the document, please click on the following link:

http://www.tourisme.gov.tn/services/actualites/article/protocole-sanitaire-pour-le-tourisme-tunisien-anti-covid-19.html?fbclid=IwAR0xihLyoCiIqRCl6gWMEIymUoIplv9_Te_BKvPKn04Qv-HAQA4cDJV1CJg

It is necessary to mention that the airspace of Tunisia will be officially open on 27thof June 2020.

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