Tunisia has reclassified the UK as a "green" country, and has lifted travel restrictions on UK arrivals.
The Tunisian Embassy in London confirmed the decision by Tunisia’s ministry of health on Wednesday (8 July). The UK was previously classified as an "orange" country.
This meant UK residents travelling to the country were required to provide evidence of a negative PCR (antigen) test for coronavirus taken no more than 72 hours before departure, and to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival at their own expense.
"The Tunisian Ministry of Health just reviewed the classification of countries according to the level of risk as of 8 July," said the embassy in a Facebook post.
"The United Kingdom is now classified as a ’green’ country, meaning residents in the UK will not be subject to any coronavirus-specific entry requirements to Tunisia."
The embassy added the review had resulted in no change in classification for Ireland, which is currently green.
Wahida Jaiet, director UK and Ireland of the Tunisian National Tourist Office (TNTO), told TTG she hoped the move would help pave the way for UK tourism to Tunisia to bounce back.
Tunisia reopened its borders on 27 June as part of the third phase of its coronavirus recovery plan; it has also been granted "Safe Travels" certification by the WTTC, and insists it is "ready and safe" for the resumption of tourism.
Its tourism sector has for several years been recovering from the effects of the June 2015 Sousse terror attack, in which 30 British Tui customers were killed.
The first UK charter returned in February 2018, and the country had been looking ahead to further regrowth in 2020.
However, the country was hit by a double blow over the winter, first with the collapse of Thomas Cook in September last year, and then the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
Late last year, EasyJet confirmed plans to return to Tunisia for the first time since 2015 with the launch of twice-weekly Gatwick flights to Enfidha in May. EasyJet Holidays, meanwhile, placed a range of Tunisia breaks on sale in March.
The TNTO embarked on an "aggressive" trade marketing campaign in the New Year to ensure flights were full, with the tourist office confirming to TTG in December 40 weekly flights from 13 UK airports had been secured for summer 2020, down from 44 in summer 2019 inclusive of Cook flights.
Tui flights were due to comprise more than half of the 40 flights, but its Tunisia programme is on hold due to the UK government’s current advice on travel to the country.
Last Friday (3 July), the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed the UK’s first "travel corridors"; exemptions from the UK’s 14-day quarantine on arrival requirement for travellers returning from select destinations.
The Foreign Office also confirmed dozens of exemptions from its global advisory against all non-essential travel.
Tunisia didn’t feature on either list, despite being praised for its response to the coronavirus crisis. The country has recorded just 1,221 confirmed cases of Covid-19, resulting in 50 deaths.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps this week confirmed the DfT would review its list of quarantine exemptions "by 27 July".