Tunisia, Libya lift travel restrictions following new covid-19 vax rule

Tunisia, Libya lift travel restrictions following new covid-19 vax rule

Tunisia and Libya have agreed to reopen borders and allowing cross-country travel following an end to their disagreement. 

Libya closed its border on July 8, 2021, because of fears around the spread of the Delta strain of Covid-19 and allegations of Tunisia sheltering rebel groups.

In August, the spokesman for the Libyan Government of National Unity, Mohammed Hammouda, said border closure with Tunisia was agreed upon for health reasons only, adding that discussion between a Libyan ministerial delegation, which included the Foreign and Interior Ministers, and a Tunisia delegation in Tunis reiterated solid bilateral relations between the two countries.

Subsequently, in mid-August, the Libyan government announced the opening of the borders, but the decision was not carried out due to a refusal by Tunisia.

To discuss the issues of the border closure, Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh met President Kais Saied in Tunisia on Thursday 9 September, and they both agreed that the Libyan and Tunisian health and interior ministries would prepare a joint protocol for reopening air and land borders as soon as possible.

President Kais Saied later stated that “bilateral relations should be protected to guarantee a better future”.

Libya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said the health protocol specific to land and air border crossings will ensure the smooth movement of people and goods between the two countries.

The signing of the protocol between the Tunisian and Libyan parties concerned was signed on Wednesday, 15 September.

Entry into the countries will be governed by health and safety protocols, and travelers from both countries have to be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR test with those who are not yet vaccinated having to observe mandatory quarantine in a hotel.

Tunisair’s announced in May its intentions to recommence its flights to Libya, with one flight per day to Tripoli, and three flights per week to Benghazi in addition to the re-opening of its main sales office in Tripoli Tower, in preparation for the commencement of its flights to Libya.

Ekene Lionelhttp://www.theaviator.co.ug
Ekene Lionel is an author for The Aviator Africa, covering military aviation. He has worked as a journalist and defense tech writer for 5 years, much of that time focusing on military and emerging technologies.
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