Thomas Cook has cancelled departures to Tunisia scheduled on Sunday and is bringing home all its holidaymakers in the country following anti-government protests in which at least 23 people have died.

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Tunisia and recommends tourists follow the instructions of tour operators.

There have been demonstrations, many leading to riots, across the country – although Thomas Cook said its customers had suffered no problems.

The company has arranged six repatriation flights to Gatwick and Manchester as “a precaution”. The government imposed a nightly curfew in the capital Tunis on Wednesday following weeks of protests that have spiralled to demand the removal of President Ben Ali. The president has offered to leave in 2014, amid high unemployment, rising food prices and allegations of wholesale corruption.

Tui helpline

Tui Travel has set up a helpline for Thomson and First Choice customers due to travel to Tunisia in Sunday after cancelling all departures.

Clients may call 0800 009 3834 up to 10pm tonight and from 11am to 10pm on Saturday.

Picture: Reuters/Zoubeir Souissi