Morocco opens its borders, but can we travel there?

From June 15, the country will receive tourists again thanks to the resumption of flights and maritime connections. On the spot, the epidemic is under control and restrictions are eased. But can the French go to Morocco, classified orange? Vaccines, compelling reasons, PCR tests … Our instructions.

Will Morocco save its summer season? The gradual resumption of international flights from 15 June and the announcement of Operation Marhaba 2021 for the arrival of Moroccans living abroad (MRE) by sea, as well as the easing of restrictions on the ground should help revive tourism, which is damaged by the pandemic. Last summer, according to a memo from the Department of Financial Studies and Forecasts (DEPF), tourist revenues fell by 90.1% in July and 96.7% in August, with borders still closed to foreign visitors. But if the conditions of entry into Morocco are relatively flexible, what about the formalities for the French? We explain you.

Also see – Morocco: The capital of tourism, Marrakech, breathless with the health crisis

Can the French travel to Morocco?

With departure from France, Morocco is, according to the official classification, published on June 2 on the list of orange countries with “active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions without spreading worrying varieties”.

This clearly means that only vaccinated travelers can leave French territory to the Cherifian Kingdom, and the others must justify a compelling reason as stated by the French Ministry of the Interior on its website. This classification is likely to evolve according to sanitary conditions, as Morocco may slip into the list of green countries as desired by tourism professionals.

What entry requirements?

To enter Morocco, as the authorities have classified France as the other countries of the European Union in list A of countries “with positive indicators” in terms of “control of the epidemiological situation”, the conditions of entry are relatively flexible.

According to a press release issued on June 6 by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, combined with a FAQ published on June 7, only a negative PCR test is required less than 48 hours before the date of entry into Moroccan territory for non-vaccinated travelers. which must also complete a health form. Vaccinated persons are exempt from testing if they present a vaccination passport or a certificate.

This 48-hour period for the PCR test is considered too short by some tourism professionals who would like to see it extended to 72 hours. To address the difficult issue of delays for ferry passengers, the MAE specifies that they “will undergo another test on board”. This summer, like last year, the maritime crossings between Spain and Morocco remain closed, requiring passage through the ports of Sète in France or Genoa in Italy, while extending the duration of the crossing.

How about returning to France?

As for the other countries classified as orange, if you have not been vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), justify a compelling reason to travel from Morocco to France. But the French (their spouses and children), foreign nationals residing in France (with a valid residence permit) and European nationals in transit through France (and their spouses and children) are excluded.

Vaccinated or not, travelers must produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours or an antigen test within 48 hours, and those who have not been vaccinated must further undertake to undergo a random antigen test on arrival and a voluntary isolation for 7 hours. days. Easy formality to complete in Morocco. The list of laboratories performing the tests has grown since the beginning of the pandemic, with some remaining open seven days a week (with results within 24 hours) and now performing antigen tests. The cost of a PCR test is around 500/600 dh (46/55 euros) and antigen 400 dh (about 37 euros).

Also see – Restrictions, Covid-19 … What to expect in France over the next two months

How many flights from France?

In the wake of the resumption of flights, national (Royal Air Maroc) or international airlines are relocating their wings. This summer from Paris CDG, Air France is planning 28 weekly flights to Casablanca, 14 to Marrakech and 18 to Rabat, and the company is announcing two openings: Paris-Tangier from 24 June (3 flights a week) and Paris-Agadir from 8 July (2 flights per week).

Transavia, for its part, operates 14 routes departing from Paris-Orly, Nantes, Lyon and Montpellier. TUIfly, for its part, announces a resumption of relations with Oujda, Nador and Agadir from Lille. At present, unless it is changed, it is expected that these flights will be carried out “within the framework of exceptional authorizations”, as Moroccan airspace is still closed.

What are the conditions on site?

On the spot, the health emergency remains in effect until July 10, the mask is mandatory everywhere, but the restrictions have been eased thanks to an improvement in the epidemiological situation and the progress of the vaccination campaign. The curfew has been pushed back to 6 p.m. Beaches are open all over Morocco, and after 15 months of sleep, the government has approved the reopening of theaters, cinemas, cultural centers, museums and monuments on a scale of 50% of their capacity. Enough to give a new push to cities like Marrakech, whose festive reputation had been severely tarnished.

Openings, concerts, weddings and other events can be resumed in small steps: gatherings in enclosed spaces are possible with a meter of 50 people and in open spaces for less than 100 participants, with the possibility of exceeding this number with the permission of the authorities. . For the moment, if the pubs have been able to reopen, Jemaa El-Fna Square remains desperately silent, empty of its snake tamers and other jugglers.

This relief is based on positive indicators in relation to the country’s epidemiological situation. Although the vaccination campaign sometimes shows signs of slowing down, 6.78 million people were fully vaccinated and 9.35 million had received a first dose per day. June 10, with the goal of reaching a target audience of 30 million. . Since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, Morocco has recorded 522,765 cases and 9,192 deaths.

Like France and Europe, a vaccine passport has been created in Morocco, which can be downloaded from the website liqahcorona.ma. According to the first information reported by the Moroccan press, this sesame will in particular allow its holders to travel throughout the territory without restrictions (travel between cities is still subject to permits at present) and to circulate outside working hours. In its press release, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry specifies that holders of a foreign vaccination passport “will enjoy the same benefits as the Moroccan vaccination certificate”. The issue of harmonization remains to be clarified, as the Moroccan authorities consider the vaccination passport valid after 4 weeks after the 2nd.and vaccine dose.

In 2019, tourism revenue, which represents around 7% of national GDP, reached almost 78.6 billion dirhams (approximately 7.2 billion euros), according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism, and the number of tourist arrivals was 12.9 million (+ 5% compared to 2018). At the end of November 2020, the number of arrivals decreased by 78.9% and the number of overnight stays by 72.3% according to an economic report. Following a campaign in the national market in May last year, the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) has planned an international relaunch campaign in several markets, including France, but the dates have not yet been announced.

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