An announcement overnight. Morocco decided on Thursday to suspend regular flights to and from France due to the resumption of the Covid-19 pandemic. This decision will come into force from this Friday, November 26 “at 11:59 p.m. (22:59 GMT), and until further notice,” said an official statement relayed by the MAP press agency.
The announcement “intervenes in order to preserve the achievements of Morocco in terms of management of the Covid-19 pandemic and to deal with the deterioration of the health situation in certain countries of the European neighborhood”, notes the Interministerial Monitoring Committee of the Covid.
This announcement comes as the French government announced on Thursday a strengthening of health measures, without considering a re-containment or a curfew. And it is all the more significant since France is by far Morocco’s leading economic partner. Cultural and human ties are also close: more than 1.3 million Moroccans live in France and nearly 80,000 French people live in Morocco.
Almost two weeks ago, the Kingdom of Morocco reinforced border controls due to the increase in cases of Covid-19 contamination in Europe. From now on, in addition to the compulsory health pass and negative PCR tests, on arrival in the territory, travelers go through a double check, by thermal cameras and electronic thermometers and by antigenic tests, details the press release.
Any passenger who tests positive on arrival will be returned immediately to their country of origin, at the expense of the air or sea transport company, with the exception of permanent residents in Morocco. These measures concern all people from so-called “list B” countries, namely France, several countries of the European Union as well as the United Kingdom, Algeria and Tunisia, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last month, Moroccan authorities had already suspended flights to and from Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Russia because of the evolving health situation in these four countries. If in Morocco the epidemiological situation is constantly improving, having allowed the lifting at the beginning of November of a national night curfew in force for months, Europe once again became this fall the global epicenter of the pandemic.