Moroccan borders have opened again today to travelers from abroad. Thats good news for Dutch people who want to visit family in the North African country; many people havent been able to see family members and friends for over a year.
There are still some conditions for travellers. Upon entry, people should show a negative PCR test, which is no older than 48 hours. A vaccination certificate is also sufficient, provided that the last vaccination was made at least two weeks ago.
Flocking to Morocco
The main reason to open borders now is the summer vacation, says correspondent Samira Jadir in theCCEIT Radio 1 Journal. “The Moroccan diaspora, particularly in Europe, has flocking to want to go on vacation to Morocco. Over the past few months, people with sorrow have been waiting for this news.”
The desire to travel back to Morocco among large groups of people in the Netherlands also sees Mustapha Barbouch, owner of travel agency Rif Reizen in The Hague. “Its tremendously busy. We had to close our case yesterday because the system was overloaded. There were a hundred people at the door. Its really chaos in the Moroccan community.”
And that chaos is reinforced by people not able to travel completely confidently, says Barbouch. Travellers run the risk of getting stuck in Morocco if the country decides to close its borders again. “So people are with a double feeling, but many travelers dare to do it anyway,” says Barbouch.
In Morocco, the state of emergency has been in place since March last year. This gives the government the power to take exceptional measures, such as introducing a travel ban. “Morocco is very unpredictable,” says Jadir. “Last year in summer holidays, they gave people the assurance that they were allowed to leave the country again, but thats not the case this year. So people take that into account.”
The chaos became complete when flight and boat ticket prices rose last week, when it became known that travelers were allowed to return to the country. “You have to think of 7000 euros for a boat trip and 4000 euros for an air trip. Many people dropped off then,” says Jadir.
After King Mohammed VI interfered, Royal Air Maroc lowered airline ticket prices considerably. People who booked before June 13 can cancel and rebook their tickets at the cheaper rate. They will receive a voucher for the remaining money.
Morocco is still partly on orange and partly red in the travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs: that means only necessary travel and not travel. People who travel to the Netherlands from Morocco get urgent advice to go into quarantine for ten days.
Travelers travelling from the Netherlands to Morocco do not have to quarantine there. Morocco has divided countries into category A and B. Travelers from first category countries, including the Netherlands, are allowed to travel to Morocco without many conditions. Travelers from B list countries need “exceptional permission” to go to Morocco and have to quarantine ten days. “For now, most European countries are in Group A, but that can always change,” says Jadir.
Because of the declining number of infections, Morocco has been in the process of easing corona-virus measures since last month. Hospitality establishments and mosques are open again. The entry into the curfew has shifted to 11 pm.