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MOROCCO WELCOMES BACK TOURISTS

Morocco lifted most of its restrictions towards foreign travellers on June 15. Airports and seaports are now opened to travellers coming from countries included in an “A-List” set by the Moroccan Ministry of Health. This includes most countries of the European Union, Switzerland, the UK as well as China, Japan, Tunisia and the USA. Many airlines have already resumed flights.

The announcement came at the start of June that the North African nation would reopen to foreign visitors coming by air or by sea. The decision was made as Morocco’s vaccination programme is in full swing. On June 15, 26% of the kingdom’s population had already received a first jab while 19% were fully vaccinated. Morocco is the African country which has vaccinated the highest percentage of its population.

While the new travel rules came into force on June 15, the decision to allow travel into Morocco carries a number of conditions.

The Moroccan Ministry of Health set up a classification of countries into two lists (A and B) in accordance with the sanitary situation in various countries. Citizens from Canada and the USA, from all of the European Union (Lithuania and Latvia excepted), from Switzerland and the UK as well as from most West African countries are allowed to enter. On the other hand, most Asian countries are still banned, a few exceptions being China, Japan; South Korea and Singapore. Most South American countries are also included in the B list.

Rules are now simpler for travellers from list A. They only need to produce a vaccination passport or a certificate attesting that the person is fully vaccinated. For travellers who could not be vaccinated, they must produce a negative PCR test not exceeding 48 hours when boarding the plane. Children under the age of 11 are exempted.

For travellers coming from B list countries, they must obtain an exceptional travel authorisation before departure. Upon arrival, they must present a negative PCR test dated within 48 hours of the time of entry into the Kingdom. They must then undergo a mandatory 10-day isolation. The only exception is for Moroccan citizens who decided to return to the country. To entice Moroccan citizens to come back, the government has requested the establishment of special fares from national air carrier Royal Air Maroc. Flights start from as low as €97 to return from Europe.

Booming capacities for airlines and ferries

The simplified conditions of entry have generated a strong increase in air capacities from both legacy and low cost carriers. National carrier Royal Air Maroc announced that it is offering 72% of pre-Covid capacity from June 15. The airline will fly to 75 destinations offering up to 3.5 million seats on its international network until the end of September. RAM will be particularly active to Morocco’s three largest inbound source markets. The airline offers 162 weekly flights to France, 76 flights to Spain and 35 to Italy.

Low cost carrier Air Arabia Maroc is launching three new routes between Casablanca and Geneva; Nador with Eindhoven and Oujda-Murcia. New flights will open over the summer from Marrakesh to Barcelona; from Fes to Marseille; from Oujda to Marseille, Paris and Toulouse as well as from Tangier to Bilbao and Valencia.

From France, low cost carrier Transavia will serve 14 routes to Morocco, including flights from Paris to Agadir, Casablanca, Oujda, Marrakech, Rabat and Tangier. Lyon and Nantes will also be linked to three Moroccan cities. Spanish carrier Vueling is opening new routes from Barcelona and Santander to Marrakesh.

Ferry connections are also back, with routes resuming from Genoa in Italy and Sete in France to Tangiers.

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