May 19 – Morocco’s tourism is starting to pick up after enduring severe restrictions
Tourism, which accounts for about seven percent of Morocco’s economy and provides hundreds of thousands of formal and informal jobs, has been severely affected by Morocco’s severe restrictions during the pandemic.
Non-citizens residing in Morocco must present a residency card to be allowed entry into Morocco.
Morocco mandates wearing a mask in all public places. They strongly encourage social distancing, hygiene, and disinfecting.
The government provides guides on disinfecting homes and hotels. In an address to the nation on August 20, 2020, the King of Morocco declared mask-wearing and hygiene patriotic duties.
He implored Moroccans to take the pandemic seriously and take all measures to protect themselves and others.
He invoked the Moroccan “values of sacrifice, solidarity, and loyalty” as a guide to help the country control the spread of COVID.
In the same speech, the King also stated that if case counts do not begin to decrease, increased restrictions may be implemented, including a possible return to a complete shutdown.
Morocco’s Covid-19 Scientific Committee bears the responsibility for making recommendations on appropriate restrictions to combat COVID.
Tourism in Morocco
Located on the northwestern tip of Africa and separated from Spain only by the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco offers many adventures for tourists. The rich culture, Mediterranean beaches, and the Sahara Desert offer temptations for anyone.
Marrakech draws the attention of international visitors more than any other Moroccan city. Its famous Souks dazzle shoppers and browsers. A haggler’s paradise, the Souks are large enough to get lost in.
Marrakech also features the stunning gardens at the Jardin Majorelle. After the Souks’ haggling and busy crush, the Jardin Majorelle offers a quiet place to relax. Here, visitors can experience some of the beauty that Morocco offers.
The Al Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca rates as a must-see for many tourists. A shining example of Moroccan architecture, it is the seventh-largest mosque in existence.
It is the only mosque in Casablanca open to non-Muslims. It can host approximately 105,000 worshipers.
From Agadir, travelers can enjoy the Atlantic Ocean beaches or take tours of the Sahara Desert, with some tours offering a night in tents.
Some tours even combine trips to the beach with trips to the desert, giving visitors a taste of both environments during one excursion.
Morocco also offers a vibrant culinary scene. Stuffed camel spleen and sheep’s brain top the list of exotic foods that some westerners may not try.
Vendors also offer camel burgers, sand-baked bread, and fantastic lamb dishes cooked in a variety of spices.
Morocco reopening: Updates Archives
April 2 – Top Moroccan official calls for easing entry restrictions
Azeddine Ibrahimi, a member of Morocco’s National Scientific Committee for COVID -19, has called for easing entry into Morocco and reopening maritime borders.
The top scientist said the country should “follow in the footsteps of other” countries such as France, Canada and Thailand, which have already lifted most entry restrictions.
“I think it is time to allow Moroccans to return to their country (as well as incoming tourists), as many other countries have done,” Ibrahimi wrote.
As of today, international visitors attempting to enter the country must present a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test taken less than 48 hours before boarding a plane to Morocco and another before leaving the country.
February 23 – Morocco Launches MAD 1 Billion Program to Boost Tourism
Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism has announced a MAD $1 billion ($106.12 million) initiative to assist COVID-affected tourism businesses in need of financial aid.
“The subsidy is granted up to a maximum of 10% of the turnover achieved by the establishment concerned for the year 2019, capped at MAD 10 million ($1 million),” state media MAP reported.
In 2019, 13 million tourists visited Morocco. By 2021, that number decreased to only 4 million. The situation deteriorated dramatically late last year when Morocco banned flights from all countries in an attempt to halt the spread of the new omicron strain.
Thousands of hospitality workers are currently on the verge of losing their jobs due to a lack of international arrivals.
January 31 – Morocco to reopen land and air borders on Feb. 7
Morocco will reopen its land and air borders for all international tourists on Feb. 7, according to the Moroccan state news agency (MAP).
Authorities provided no details on what the requirements would be for visitors in terms of vaccination certificates, booster shots or COVID-19 tests.
However, according to the UK Foreign Office’s travel advice for Morocco, travelers will need to provide a vaccine certificate as well as a negative PCR test result “when flights resume.”
January 17 – Morocco to keep its borders close until the end of January
Morocco closed its borders to all countries in late November 2021 following the discovery of the new Omicron variant.
The country was set to reopen in late December, but the government decided to keep it closed until January-end.
Tayeb Hamdi, a Moroccan doctor and specialist in health policy and systems, has said borders should be reopened “under special conditions.”
Hamdi went on to say that it would be “desirable to consider reopening the borders in compliance with the conditions set by Moroccan authorities,” praising the country’s “successful, proactive, and anticipatory” strategy to handle COVID-19.
Morocco’s reopening date is yet to be announced.
December 15 – Morocco has extended its ban on all international flights until Dec. 31
Morocco is one of the three countries in the world that decided to impose a full ban on all international flights as soon as the new highly-contagious variant was announced on Nov. 26.
The ban was supposed to end on Dec. 14 but the lack of solid information about the potential threats to the country has forced the government to extend the ban through Dec. 31.
Morocco has vaccinated more than 70 percent of its population, the highest vaccination rate in Africa. Also, the booster program has already started.
November 30 – Morocco has closed its borders to ALL inbound flights from Nov. 29
Morocco closed its borders to all international flights for at least 14 days due to concerns related to the omicron strain, announced the Foreign Ministry.
The decision has been made to “preserve the achievements realized by Morocco in the fight against the pandemic, and to protect the health of citizens,” The Ministry tweeted on Sunday.
Morocco has only managed to vaccinate 42.7% of its population. It’s no surprise it has imposed the strictest lockdown measure worldwide.
November 23 – Morocco updates its entry restrictions for travelers from the A and B lists
Protestors argue that the health pass was introduced arbitrarily, and they refuse to get vaccinated due to health concerns.
As of today, authorities have shown no evidence of intending to reverse the policy.
October 26 – Morocco’s tourism skyrocketed by 223.3% in September, announced the (DEPF)
Tourism revenues increased by 223.3 percent in the third quarter of 2021, according to Morocco’s Department of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF).
Morocco’s remarkable recovery can be attributed to the reopening of national borders in mid-June, as part of Operation Marhaba, which resulted in a significant increase in the number of tourists viewing Morocco as a potential gateway.
Travelers from countries on List B who are unvaccinated or just partially vaccinated must still undergo a 10-day quarantine upon arrival at a government-approved hotel.
September 25 – Morocco is not easing its Covid-19 restrictions, government confirms.
“Fake news.” That was what the Ministry of Health replied when asked about the ease on Covid-19 restrictions it was supposed to be planning.
“While the Ministry of Health warns citizens not to follow and spread these malicious rumors, it confirms that the decisions that are taken are announced and published through its official channels of communication, as well as the public media,” the ministry said in a statement last week.
The ministry also announced legal actions against those who share this fake news.
August 11 – Morocco to lift night-time curfew and travel restrictions for fully vaccinate people
Morocco extended its nationwide state of emergency through September 10 but has waived interstate travel and night curfew restrictions for all fully vaccinated people.
Authorities have restricted travel to and from the cities of Agadir, Casablanca, and Marrakesh.
Also, the country expanded the existing nightly curfew by two more hours. As of today, it is in force from 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) to 5:00 am, according to a government statement.
Land border crossings to Morocco remain closed for tourism but land borders with Senegal and Mali have reopened.
August 27 – Morocco to lead COVID-19 immunizations in Africa with digital technology
Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt top the vaccination drive in Africa amidst a vaccine shortage.
Citizens only need to scan their QR codes at the new smart vaccination center in Errhma to get vaccinated.
“The main innovation here (…) is a complex information system integrated into the vaccination centre itself, using PCs, tablets, QR code scanning at the entrance and exit,” said Mohamed Loughzel, an officer at the vaccination center.
According to Africa’s CDC head, less than 3 percent of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated so far.
July 28 – Morocco’s Tourism Revenues went down by 62.7% despite of dropping quarantine for vaccinated travelers
The Moroccan Department of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF) has announced that tourism revenue dropped by 62.7% in the first 5 months of 2021.
According to the (DEPF), the worst month has been March when less than 30% percent of the expected tourists arrived.
The third wave of the pandemic is also not helping. Morocco has registered over 4,000 cases per day recently. Consequently, authorities banned mass gatherings, weddings and restricted restaurant and bar’s capacity.
The country has recently dropped quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers who can produce a certificate showing they received their last dose at least 2 weeks before travel.
Authorities expect this measure helps them to boost tourism by the end of 2021.
July 12 – Morocco to require travelers from Spain, Portugal and France to undergo 10-day quarantine again from July 13
The new spread of COVID-19, fueled by its new Delta variant has forced Morocco to prioritize public health over the economy.
Effective July 13, once again visitors from Spain, Portugal and France will have to quarantine at a government-designated facility per 10 days at their own expense.
Besides, these travelers will need to obtain a “special authorization” and submit a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 48 hours prior to arrival.
A few days ago, the Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb warned about a possible new national lockdown due to the spike in infections.
“Taking into account the evolution of the epidemiological situation over the last two days, we have been able to observe an accelerated increase in cases of contamination compared to the trend observed during the last months,” he said.
June 26 – Morocco reopened to multiple countries without testing restrictions from June 15
After a 15-month closure, Morocco is welcoming back fully vaccinated visitors from the US, Canada, and the U.K without testing restrictions, only a vaccination certificate is required.
Morocco has also added 100 more countries to its A-List (Green list). Travelers from this list who have not received two courses of a COVID-19 vaccine need to submit proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before arrival. (Source).
On the other side, Moroccans are experiencing travel barriers due to the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
Despite leading one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, the EU has recommended treating vaccinated Moroccans as unvaccinated people. The government has widely used the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine which has not been approved by the economic bloc.
June 10 – Morocco is set to reopen for tourism to multiple countries on June 15
Effective June 15, Morocco will reopen its airports and ports to international visitors from the U.K., all European Union countries (except Lithuania), U.S., Canada, Russia, China and any UN member country that is not on Morocco’s list B.
Nationals and visitors will need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no older than 48 hours before the date of entry or a vaccine certificate.
Travelers from countries that do not provide public reliable data will also need to ask for a special permit to enter the country, said the government in a statement.