Tunisia holidays back on UK market two years after Sousse attack

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all but essential visits to the country for the past two years following the June 2015 beach attack in which 30 Britons – including three members of the same Black Country family – were killed.

Joel Richards, 19, his uncle Adrian Evans, and grandfather Patrick Evans were all murdered at the resort.

The FCO announced yesterday that it has withdrawn the advice for the capital Tunis and major tourist resorts.

The UK continues to advise against ‘all travel’ and ‘all but essential travel’ to some areas of the country, including those nearer the Libyan border.

Patrick Evans, Joel Richards and Adrian Evans were all killed in the attack

A statement posted on Facebook last night by the Smile for Joel charity, which was set up by Joel’s mother Suzy Evans, said: “The travel advice [has] changed for Tunisia from ‘all but essential travel’ to ‘check before travel’.

“It’s still very important for the public to understand that green (for any country) does not mean ‘safe to go’, it means no embargo and check before travel.

“Lots of mixed feelings about this news, especially knowing that tour operators still do not audit hotels on their security procedures.

“All we can hope is that the Government and the travel industry have put ‘safety before a sale’.”

The FCO said it has kept its assessment of the risks of British nationals travelling to Tunisia ‘under constant review’ since the Sousse attack.

Having ‘carefully reviewed conditions’ in the country – including the threat from terrorism and improvements in the Tunisian security forces – the Government decided its travel advice should change.

Some 440,000 people from the UK visited Tunisia in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Demand was reportedly even higher during the following year, until the Sousse attack in which IS-inspired gunman Seifeddine Rezgui killed a total of 38 tourists.

Trade organisation Abta said in a statement: “This change in level of travel advice means that travel to Tunisia can now resume and travel companies can put in place plans for holidays to Tunisia to restart, should they wish to do so.”

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