British holidaymakers should prepare for Morocco to ban them entry after the African country imposed restrictions on travellers from some 25 countries, including Spain, Italy and France. 

The spread of coronavirus throughout Europe and the world has prompted governments to impose stringent rules at their borders, including quarantines and health screenings. Some, meanwhile, have banned entry altogether. 

On Saturday, March 14, Morocco announced it was closing its borders to citizens from a number of countries reporting cases of coronavirus. Although the UK was not included, the British Foreign Office (FCO) believes it is only a matter of time. 

Below we detail what the advice is, what to do if you have a holiday booked and whether you can cancel. 

Which countries has Morocco banned so far?

The Moroccan foreign ministry has suspended flights to and from the following countries:

China, Spain, Italy, France, Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Senegal, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the UAE.

It has also cut ferry links to Spain and Gibraltar, a British territory.

Citizens of some of the above nations were forced to scramble to find ways out of the country following the news at the weekend. 

What is the Foreign Office advice?

The Foreign Office (FCO) has issued the following guidance:

“The government of Morocco has closed air and sea borders to anyone travelling from a number of countries reporting cases of coronavirus. This includes passenger ferry links with Spain and Gibraltar. 

“We expect flights to and from the UK and other destinations to be suspended in the near future. If you are in the UK and plan to travel to Morocco, you should consider seriously whether to go ahead, since it may be difficult to return. 

“If you are in Morocco and need to return to the UK, you should make the necessary arrangements with your tour operator, transport or accommodation provider.”

Furthermore, it adds: “The Moroccan authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities. Keep up to date with information from your tour operator, transport or accommodation provider on the impact on any existing travel plans.”

A bazaar in Marrakech

Credit:
istock

How many cases of coronavirus does Morocco have?

  • 28 confirmed cases
  • 1 death
  • 1 recovered
  • 1 serious

What should I do if my holiday is affected?

As the situation for British travellers is not yet clear, it is not easy to make a call on any future trip. The Foreign Office advises that you consider seriously whether to make the trip. 

If you are booked with a tour operator, contact the company to discuss your options. The operator has a duty of care to you so would either find alternative arrangements, offer support should the trip go ahead or a refund if it is cancelled. 

If your trip is booked independently, first contact your airline to see if flights are still due to operate, then consult your travel insurers to make sure you are covered in the event of travel disruption. 

If Morocco bans British travellers from entry, the Foreign Office will likely then change its travel advice to the country, which activates clauses for most travellers to gain refunds or rebookings, but also invalidates insurance for those who choose to travel after the guidance has changed. 

Have airlines stopped flying?

Not yet. EasyJet and British Airways are still operating their routes. But remember, Morocco has not yet imposed the ban on British travellers. EasyJet flies to Marrakech, Tangier and Agadir, while British Airways flies to Marrakech and Casablanca. 

Will I have to self-isolate on return?

No, Morocco is not on the list for returning travellers to self-isolate. 

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