Tunisia announces 3rd phase of lifting Covid-19 restrictions

Thursday June 04 2020

Tunisian high school students wearing face masks stand in line on May 28, 2020 after authorities approved the easing of Covid-19 measures. Tunisia on June 3, 2020 announced a further easing of coronavirus restrictions. PHOTO | FETHI BELAID | AFP



Tunisian minister in charge of major national projects Lobna Jribi announced on Wednesday the main lines of the third phase of the national strategy for partially lifting the coronavirus lockdown.

"From June 4, work will resume at 100 per cent capacity in public administrations and in the other sectors of activity," Jribi said at a press briefing at the government's headquarters in Tunis.

She announced that mosques, all worship places, hotels and restaurants will reopen on June 4.

"Party halls will reopen on the same date," said the minister, adding that the enclosed spaces will operate at 50 per cent of their capacity and the open spaces will operate at full capacity, but in compliance with hygiene measures.



Various sporting activities will be resumed from June 8 without the public "for the moment," while respecting the preventive measures fixed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Travel between all Tunisian governorates will resume without authorisation, said Jribi.

Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4 to June 14, "and priority will be given to students and residents who have lost their jobs".

"Since March 15, 2020, Tunisian authorities have managed to ensure the repatriation of 25,000 Tunisians stranded abroad, including 18,000 by air and 7,000 via land borders," said the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Anouar Maarouf, at a press briefing held in Tunis on Wednesday.


Maarouf said that several flights have been scheduled recently to repatriate Tunisians living in various countries who wish to spend the summer holidays in Tunisia.

"However, the programming of new repatriation flights does not mean opening the borders," explained Maarouf.

He stressed that any Tunisian national repatriated will be called upon to comply with a mandatory confinement of two weeks; "one week at the hotel at his own expense – during which two screening tests will be carried out, with one upon arrival and the other upon exit – and a second week at his home."


Students, employees whose contract of employment has expired, Tunisian nationals in difficult financial situations, and those who have been stranded in the destination countries will be exempted from the quarantine fees.

On May 26, Mohamed Rabhi, head of the health quarantine commission at the ministry revealed that mandatory quarantine in Tunisian medical centres over the Covid-19 concerns has so far cost the state 15 million dinars (5 million US dollars).

On June 1, Tunisia decided to reopen the land, air and sea borders from June 27, but Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4.

On Wednesday, Tunisia reported one imported Covid-19 case, bringing the total number of cases to 1,087.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

The North African country has received several batches of medical aid from the Chinese government, Chinese foundations and companies since late March to help its fight against the pandemic.