Morocco has reopened its borders to foreign travelers and especially to the French on February 7… But under conditions. The country is now classified as “green”: the only vaccination pass is enough for the return.
After two months of complete closure due to the outbreak of Covid-19, Morocco reopened its airspace on February 7, 2022. The resumption of maritime traffic was scheduled for the same date, the director general of the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT), Adel El Fakir, told Le Figaro. It is finally only partial and does not concern, initially, the tourist transport, remaining limited to business travel, according to a note from the Ministry published in the wake.
Motivated by the will to relaunch the tourist activity damaged by the pandemic, this decision is also based on the improvement of the health situation. On site, the number of infections seems to have slowed down since the week of January 17 to 23, when a peak was reached. More than 23 million Moroccans had received a second dose of vaccine by January 27 and 4.51 million a third injection, making Morocco the African champion of vaccination. Unsurprisingly, the announcement has rekindled the interest of French tourists, as the winter vacations have started in zone B. Morocco, traditional destination “winter sun” has recorded a jump in searches for airline tickets of more than 500% in recent days, according to the specialized search engine Kayak. With an average price that is also soaring, around 214 € for Marrakech, for example…
Arrival in Morocco: what are the entry requirements for EU tourists?
The kingdom has been classified as “green” (active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions) since mid-February, but only vaccinated European people can go there for tourism reasons. The Moroccan government’s protocol requires all travelers to Morocco to present a vaccination pass before boarding.
48-hour negative test
Before boarding, European travelers must also present the negative results of a PCR test less than 48 hours old (the short time between the sampling and registration).
Passenger health form
Passengers will have to carry a passenger health card, to be downloaded or distributed on planes and ships, “duly completed, including the passenger’s address and two telephone numbers to locate him or her, if necessary, during the 10 days following arrival,” says the Office National des Aéroports (ONDA).
Additional on-site test
Upon arrival on Moroccan territory, rapid antigenic tests will be systematically carried out “at points of entry” as well as random sampling for random PCR tests
At the same time, Moroccan airports, 16 of which are certified “AHA” (Airport Health Accreditation), have put in place specific sanitary measures (physical distancing, thermal cameras, etc.) in order to welcome travelers in optimal security conditions and “all the equipment” and “human, sanitary, security and administrative means necessary for the success of these operations” will be implemented, the statement said. Before the closure of the airspace on November 29, a passenger health form, to be downloaded or distributed in the aircraft, was required upon arrival. For the moment, the protocol does not mention it.
In addition, additional tests may be carried out at the hotel or at the traveler’s place of residence “after 48 hours of their entry into the national territory”. It is not stipulated whether travelers will have to pay for them, nor what the modalities will be.
What happens in case of a positive test upon arrival in Morocco?
There are two scenarios in case of a positive result of the rapid antigenic test: if the traveler is “asymptomatic or presents a benign picture”, treatment is planned “by self-isolation at home or at the hotel” for tourists, “according to the national protocol in force”. The duration of any self-isolation is not specified.
In case of “moderate symptoms”, “treatment in a public or private hospital” is provided. Morocco uses azithromycin to treat moderate cases, with the possibility of using molnupiravir, an antiviral drug for systemic use, since January.
Vaccination pass, hotels, restaurants… Measures in force in Morocco
While the state of health emergency has been extended until February 28, restrictions (curfew, inter-city travel restrictions, etc.) have been lifted in Morocco where most public places have been authorized to reopen, except for discotheques and casinos. Since October 21, the vaccination pass is in theory required to access all public places, administrations, hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, sports halls or hammams, and to travel between the different regions of the Kingdom. Wearing a mask (simple) is also mandatory throughout the country.
How much does an anti-Covid test cost in Morocco?
The price of the tests is capped in Morocco (about 19 euros for the rapid antigen test, 40 euros for the RT-PCR test and 60 euros for the PCR test and its isothermal variants (rapid tests). Many centers are available and tests can also be performed in hotels or places of residence.