PLEASE NOTE: This document contains only provisional information for each country, based on the information that our in-country teams have been able to access. We hope to provide updates of this information approximately at fortnightly intervals.
Covid-19 and transport in Tunisia. Tunis
Draft report 18.7.2020-31.7.2020
Current cases in Tunisia [31.7.2020]: 1514
Current deaths in Tunisia [31.7.2020]: 50
30.7.2020: Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and China have been removed from Tunisia’s green list and are now categorised as orange. Since the 27 July travellers from countries classified as green did not have to provide a negative covid-19 test are not placed in quarantine.
27.7.2020. The Tunisian government announced that all members of the same family coming from countries not classified as green or orange should be placed in mandatory isolation (including children under 12) for at least 3 days until the ministry of health carry out the required test
28.7.2020 Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Tunis Carthage airport. 6 airport officials have died so far. 6 medical teams will carry out screening of all airport staff. The director general of the national observatory for new and emerging diseases says that the airport closing has not been mentioned. The 7 infected agents at the airport have been placed in a containment centre to monitor their health.
20.7.2020 Women are protesting in south Tunisia because they are furious with the government and oil companies for failing to follow through with promised jobs. Several protest movements have emerged since June due to covid-19.
25.7.2020. In an article in La Presse it is highlighted that people in Tunisia to a large extent are not following social distancing measures, and that there might expect a second wave. People who are supposed to be in confinement are sometimes fleeing accommodation centres.
Draft report 4.7.2020-17.7.2020
Current cases 17.7.2020: 1327
Current deaths 17.7.2020: 50
14.7.2020. The Tunisian ministry of transport calls Corsica Linea to suspend crossings to Tunisia until health procedures (quarantine) have been followed and the ship has been disinfected. The captain had been tested positive but had not been in touch with the passengers.
9.7.2020. A study by UN women reports that women have been more vulnerable during covid-19, particularly those working in the agricultural sector or unemployed women. The UN women launched a survey across North Africa. In Tunisia there were 1508 respondents. A third of the respondents reported that they had suffered domestic violence. Belhaj, who is part of the UN women, emphasised that Tunisia one of the few countries that publish the number of COVID-19 cases by gender (available regarding confirmed cases and deaths). Belhaj also said that there is an absence of data regarding women’s access to care structures, preventive measures and places of protection.
2 July 2020. Thirty women have started to learn how to cycle in the Japanese garden in Tunis and are keen to get about and have more autonomy. The bikes school is launched by Vélorution Tunisie that has trained 700 women in two years. During covid-19 there has been an increased interest in cycling. The women are between 15 and 70. The organisation has got a spike of attention during the pandemic but the riders emphasise that there are not enough cycling facilities in the city as things get back to normal.
Draft report 23.6.2020-3.7.2020
Current cases (3.7.2020): 1178
Current deaths (3.7.2020): 50
29.6.2020. The minister has decided to grant interest free loans up to 6000 Euros to enable Tunisians living abroad (in Europe) to buy plane tickets with Tunisair and CTN.
26.6.2020. Tunisia opened its sea, land and air borders to selected tourists on the 27 June. The government has said that it will allow travel between provinces. A color-coded system has been implemented to show which countries can enter and the restrictions travellers from these countries might face. Green list countries make up countries with low prevalence of the virus. Travellers from orange list countries need to fill in a form and present a negative PCR test performed no later than 72 hours before departure. If a country is not on the green /orange list travellers cannot enter.
29.6.2020: Ministers responsible for transport and tourism visited Tunis/Carthage airport and noted some deficiencies regarding luggage handling which will require urgent decision making.
27. 6.2020. Tunisair outlines the conditions for getting on a plane. The wearing of a mask is compulsory (boarding, on the flight and disembarking), passengers need to respect a 1-meter rule at the counter and check-in gate, and plexiglass is installed as much as possible. Crew members and airport personnel also must wear masks.
24.6.2020: In an interview, the minister for women, family and seniors in Tunisia, Ms Asma Shiri, says that rural women faced issues before covid in regard to transport, but now they are even more vulnerable. The government is setting up loans of 1000 dinars that can be repaid over 2 years and 2 months without interest. She also says that the government is setting up measures that enables unemployment compensation of 200 dinars for workers who have been negatively affected by covid.
Draft report 6.6.2020-23.6.2020
Current cases (23.6.2020): 1159
Deaths: (23.6.2020): 50
19.6.2020. In Tunisia the curfew is lifted, and the government has lifted almost all restrictions due to the low number of cases. Travel within the country is allowed, and restaurants are open.
16.6.2020. The Tunisian union of agriculture and fisheries calls for the authorities to protect rural women from transport insecurities. This followed the traffic accident (mentioned below) with rural agricultural workers.
15.6.2020. The Intercity means of transport is to operate at full capacity (not 50%) according to the ministry of transport.
13.6.2020: The Tunisian government are allowing repatriation flights. Tourists who will come to Tunisia will have to present a coronavirus test carried out in their residence (72 hours before) after the borders will open on the 27 June. They must fill in a health form before leaving their departure airport. They will be subject to temperature measurements. Tunisians coming from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
10.6.2020: The Tunisian authorities announced that:
– Air, land and sea borders will open from 27.6.2020
– The Compulsory quarantine for travellers from abroad (7 days in a dedicated structure such as a hotel establishment, followed by 7 days at home);
– The lifting of the curfew
– the wearing a mandatory mask in all public places;
– The resumption of public transport;
– The reopening of administrative services welcoming the public to the usual hours;
– The authorization of intercity travel and travel between regions;
– The reopening of restaurants and cafes;
– Maintaining a ban on rallies and postponing all demonstrations.
16.6.2020. A man died and 14 female agricultural workers were injured in a traffic accident between Kairouan and Wasatiya. One truck was loaded with sheep the other with farm workers.
Draft report 23.5.2020-5.6.2020
Confirmed cases (5.6.2020): 1,087
Confirmed deaths: (5.6.2020): 49
1.6.2020 COVID 19 restrictions related Announcement: End of guided health confinement
4.6. 2020: The authorities decided lifting the inter governorates (counties) transport ban.
3.6.2020: Tunisia borders will re-open as of 27.6.2020 (Land, air and sea). The evacuation of Tunisians stuck abroad will continue as of 4 June, with a mandatory 7 days quarantine. They will be subject to compulsory health isolation in a dedicated hotel for 7 days (at their expense) and an additional seven days at home with rigorous health monitoring.
28. 5.2020: Lines re enforcement to accommodate school pupils returning to schools as of 28th May and extending students subscriptions till end July from end June
May announcement: tnd 1.2 b losses in 2018.
Changes in itinerary going through Bardo
Draft report 9.5.2020-22.5.2020
Current cases (22.5.2020): 1046
Current deaths (22.5.2020): 47
18.5.2020: The ministry of Transport announced new measures in favour of non-scheduled public transport, car renting and the driving school sector. They will allow the extension of the deadline for the credits grants, and also maintain the same rate of VAT for 6 months (maximum 300 dinars for car insurance costs). The ministry has decided to open a financing line worth 5 million dinar with the Tunisian Solidarity Bank. This will allow people working in the sectors mentioned above to benefit from loans of maximum 1000 dinars and a fixed interest rate of 5 %. The repayment of the loan will have to be paid back over approximately 2 years.
11.5.2020. Transtu prohibits passengers to travel without a travel authorisation.
6.5. 2020 The Tunisian Union of Social Solidarity has made 200,000 protective masks available to passengers during the lockdown period, but only for passengers with travel authorisation.
4.5.2020: The number of passengers on the first day (4.5.2020) when the lockdown was eased, the bus and the metro were very busy (a larger number than estimated by Transtu). 372,000 had used public transport. It is only possible to get a ticket with a travel authorisation.
Draft report 25.4.2020-8.5.2020
8.5.2020. Cases 1026. 44 deaths.
4.5.2020. The food and construction sector can resume operations, and half of government employees will be able to return to work. Public transport will partially resume but with some restrictions. On the 11 May clothing shops and malls will be permitted to open. Another relaxation of measures will be planned on the 14 June but will depend on the spread of the virus. On the 28 May high school students in their final year will be able to resume classes. Others will return to school in September. Students within the field of medicine will return to university on the 11 May. There is currently a national curfew from 8 pm to 6 am during Ramadan starting the 24 April. People can only leave their houses during curfew for essential services (food and medicine). Travel between cities is prohibited. International flights are suspended, and people entering Tunisia have to self-quarantine for two weeks.
29.4.2020. The government announced they will start relaxing its coronavirus lockdown next week, reopening parts of the food and construction sectors and allowing half of government employees to return to work.
4.5.2020 Transtu is implementing the following measures:
-A reduction of the maximum number of passengers on vehicles to 50% of their capacities (maximum 40 people for regular buses, 60 people or double buses, 120 people for metro and train)
-Passengers need to show their permission for travel before boarding
-All staff and passengers must wear masks
-Regular disinfection of all vehicles is required.
The metro is trying to keep physical distance between passengers, and checking on masks. Our in-country team reports that collective taxis are also starting to operate, and it appears that they do not ask passengers for travel permissions.
3.5.2020. People are going back to work in Tunis. In an article (Nesma) the contributors speculate what the reopening will mean for public transport, e.g. in terms of electric bikes, scooters, and the new company Intigo.
Draft report 11.4.2020-24.4.2020
Current cases: 918
Current deaths: 38
24 April: A modification of curfew hours for Ramadan is taking place effective today in Tunisia (now from 20h00 till 06h00). An upcoming gradual lifting of confinement measures will be taking place starting 4 May.
22 April: The government has decided that all public transport should be free of charge in the confinement period (buses and metro-tram) in order to facilitate transport of health care workers and security workers in strategic fields such as food in order to better face COVID-19. Transport users should show authorizations prior to accessing buses and metros. The frequency of transport means has been reduced during the confinement period, although in some cases travel has increased due to authorization measures. The Transport Ministry held a meeting to discuss how to cooperate in the light of the COVID 19 crisis.
18 April: (personal communication with Tunis team member). Since the start of the confinement Tunisia Authorities put a web portal (http://www.autorisation.gov.tn/.in order to facilitate distribution of the authorizations to move outside during the confinement period. Authorized company representatives can get authorization for themselves and for their employees. Everyone can apply, not everyone can get it. Legitimate reasons: Work for health and any other supporting profession to health. Also security, food, agriculture, food distribution, public services including transport, energy.
The confinement period has been extended and the length will be announced later.
Gafsa Governorate: The regional authorities decided to limit the movement between the delegations of the governorate after the expansion of the number of people infected with “Corona”. Nouvelair: The center urbain nord agency are reopening providing new repatriation flights.
Draft report 1.4-10.4.2020
Cases 10.4.2020 645. 25 deaths
9.4.2020: Prime Minister Elias Al-Fakhakh took a number of additional measures to reduce the quarantine violations and further control the spread of the Corona virus.
Further organizing the process of attributing the permissions to move outside.
Adoption of financial penalties for citizens who do not respect quarantine.
Forbidding transportation and all transfers between governorates and isolating areas declared by the Ministry of Health as affected areas.
Friday, April 10 is an extraordinary holiday to limit the movement to the strict necessity.
The Prime Minister’s office called for the use of force and strictness in implementing the procedures and obligating everyone to implement the quarantine in order to curb the coronavirus spread.
Authorities are expected to issue a decree regulating financial penalties for breaching public quarantine. In this context, the official spokesperson of the government, Asma Al-Suhairi, confirmed in a statement to Shams FM radio that the penalties that will be adopted will be similar to traffic ones. A bill has been prepared to these penalties as a deterrent step in order to compel citizens to respect the ongoing quarantine. Source Nessmatv/ar
The Nessma website reported that the Tunisian Airlines will evacuate about 120 Tunisians from the airports of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and Niamey, Niger. The plane is expected to arrive at about eight o’clock this evening, Thursday, to Tunis-Carthage International Airport, passengers will be directed later to their compulsory quarantine state centers.
7.4. 2020. The Prime Ministry office banned inter-governate travel in Tunisia. Quarantine violators could face serious charges if they violate the government’s rules.
3.4.2020. A helpline has been set up to help women who are victims of domestic violence and assaults due to the lockdown.
2.4.2020. The president announced that Tunisia will extend a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus by two weeks to April 19.
2.4.2020 The Transport Technical Agency announced the decision to extend the validity documents such as operating certificates for public transport buses, individual taxis and rural transport.
1.4.2020. Enova has manufactured robots that are put up in Tunisia to track people’s movement and ask people where they are going during the lockdown
Draft report 1.3.2020-31.3.2020
30.3. 2020. Confirmed cases in Tunisia: 312.
30.3.2020. Between 22-26.3.2020 people who were caught outside with a transportation mean (motorbike, car) saw their bikes confiscated or their car and driving licenses confiscated.
27.3. 2020. The police started confiscating cars from drivers who did not have a valid motive (buying essentials, buying medicine, or official authorization) to use them during the quarantine (source to be confirmed by team member).
27.3. 2020. 7 deaths, 1 recovery.
22. 3. 2020. Established a quarantine also called total General confinement for all citizens.
The government has closed borders for all commercial travel.
18.3.2020. The president declared that the army will patrol the streets and curfew will run from 6pm to 6am local time.
16.3.2020: The Minister of Transport and Logistics announced that his department is ready to suspend public transport and interurban transport if this will be needed. Anyone who is not forced to use public transportation should avoid it instantly.
13.3. 2020: The Prime Minister has banned gatherings and markets. State employees should work 5 hours, at different shifts. All flights to Italy will be suspended and ordered mandatory self-isolation of 14 days for all those arriving in the country. All classes in all kindergartens and day nurseries as well as public and private schools and universities are closed, including mosques.
11.3. 2020. Passengers will be provided with soap/sanitizers at stations and on transport, and agents will be given necessary work supplies, e.g gloves. The government is ensuring the cleanliness of transportation by land, sea and air, and sterilization, if necessary. There are teams at the main transport stations to investigate suspected cases (source team member to be confirmed)
10.3.2020. The Office for Merchant Marine and Ports (OMMP-under the ministry of public works) announced in a statement on Tuesday that Tunisian ports will be closed to ships from Italy, starting 11.3- 4.4. 2020.
30.3. Individuals in parts of the city have protested in front of the headquarters in one of the poorer neighbourhoods of Tunis during the lockdown. They are asking for permission to carry on with their daily activities to be able to feed their families.
21.3. 2020. The Tunisian union of individual taxis has allowed doctors, army forces, national security agents and some special cases to move for free. They will be allowed to run during the curfew from 6 pm to 6 am.
19.3.2020. The team informs us that there are massive queues (their own observations) of people waiting for busses due the curfew. One team member observed that there is a lot of tension, since people cannot afford to stay at home and not work. Our in-country team has informed us that pensions are being distributed directly to the elderly and their homes [instead of via post offices]. People need to travel more to shop due to shortages of food. Buses from Monastir have stopped coming in and out to limit people commuting.
16.3. 2020. Our in-country team members have stopped face-to-face fieldwork.
14.3. 2020. Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens: Will provide transportation for employees, and tolerate work from home in some cases. The organisation recommends citizens to avoid crowds, respect the recommendations of the ministry of health, avoid infected people and comply with self-isolation.
12.3. 2020. Transtu has set up temperature equipment at the main stations of the capital (Le Passage, Barcelona Square, TGM) to detect possible cases of coronavirus, and are cleaning buses and wagons.
11.3. 2020. The municipality of Tunis lead a campaign to disinfect stations of public transport Le Passage, Place Barcelona and the TGM. Transtu is content with running awareness campaigns.
Useful weblinks for more info:
Covid-19: l’Union tunisienne des taxis individuels apporte son aide aux médecins et aux forces de sécurité