Tunisia is a land with diversity at its core. Flanked by the hot Sahara Desert and the azure blue Mediterranean Sea, it weaves a rich tapestry of culture, cuisine and archaeological wonders. More significantly, in the wake of Covid-19, it has elevated itself to be one of the safest superyacht cruising grounds, recording some of the lowest numbers of coronavirus cases throughout Europe to date. As a result, border restrictions are due to be lifted on June 27th, and Tunisia is now open for business.
As a prized superyacht cruising ground, Tunisia is adept at providing seclusion and security in equal balance. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, swift action from the Tunisian government meant the country entered into a highly effective early quarantine period. A country-wide lockdown commenced on March 21st with borders closing across land, sea and air, and a night-time curfew imposed.
Tunisian citizens who were abroad at the start of lockdown were safely repatriated by the government, with a required 14-day isolation period spent in hotels at the expense of the Tunisian government. Three months on and the country’s diligence has paid off two-fold; it is among the first in Europe to reopen its borders to foreign visitors and remains a safe haven for yachts and tourists alike.
To quantify this, Tunisia has just 5 active cases per million population, compared with Spain and France that respectively have 1,329 and 1,362 active cases per million population (numbers taken from the John Hopkins Trust data set on June 8th 2020)
From June 27th, yachts will be welcomed back to cruise Tunisia’s waters and resume their regular maritime services, including duty-free bunkering. Strict procedures and safety protocols for the hospitality industry and wider businesses are being rolled out in preparation for this date. Working in accordance with guidelines laid out by the World Health Organisation, hospitality staff are undergoing additional training to be able to competently undertake newly required safety procedures. A concerted effort is being made nationwide to ensure the outstanding successful management of the coronavirus pandemic continues once normal daily life resumes.
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisations (UNWTO), states: “Tunisia’s successful experience in the fight against the coronavirus sends reassuring signals to the rest of the world. They are of one of the safest countries in terms of health, that tourists can visit.”
Kim Williams of Yacht Services Tunisia, comments: “Tunisia has been through a lot over the past nine years, but each time it rises up against the odds. Now as the end of lockdown is in sight and with our international boarders about to reopen, we should all be very thankful for the swift action that the Tunisian government has taken. We will of course follow strict sanitary procedures when we welcome our yachts into port and will continue to follow all government protocols as they are released.”
From ancient ruins to sea therapy spa treatments, and pristine golf courses to a collection of fully-serviced prestige superyacht marinas, Tunisia is waiting with its arms open wide to welcome its owners, captains and crew a safe return to its inviting and protected shores.