According to journalists working for AFP on the Tunisian side of the border, the reopening of the land border between Algeria and Tunisia, which had been closed for more than two years, is taking place in a fluid manner near Tabarka on Friday. There are a few cars and signs celebrating the Algerian-Tunisian friendship. At the nine crossing points between the two countries, which reopened at midnight on Thursday, Tunisian officials expect to see more than a million Algerian tourists this summer.
The decision to reopen the land borders, which had been closed due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, was announced on July 5 by President Abdelmajid Tebboune to his Tunisian counterpart, Kais Said. According to Jamel Zrig, a National Guard official, the border post of Melloula, which is located near Tabarka (northwest), is the most important because 25 percent of Algerians entered the country through this border in 2019.
Large banners in the region near the border stated things like “Long live the Algerian-Tunisian friendship.” Visitors were required to verify that their documentation was valid. The Covid was located in a structure that was topped with an inscription that said, “Welcome to our Algerian brothers, in their second homeland, Tunisia.” In 2019, approximately 3 million Algerians traveled to Tunisia, making up a third of all foreign visitors to the country during a year that saw a significant improvement in tourism.
In spite of the fact that ties between the two states have been traditionally quite tight ever since the Algerian fight against the French colonial power, they had decided to travel to the country that is located next door in order to go on vacation, to reward themselves, or to look for family (1954–1962). Algeria has a lot of big cities, like Annaba and Constantine that are close to the border with Tunisia.
Algerians have a special fondness for the seaside resorts of Sousse and Hammamet, as well as the holy city of Kairouan, and they frequently travel to Tunisia to spend their vacation time there at the end of the year. Algeria shut down its land borders on March 17, 2020 as a precaution against the spread of the COVID outbreak, with the exception of those that were designated for use in case of an emergency.