Flights between the UK and Morocco have been suspended over growing concerns in the destination about the UK’s Covid infection rate.
The UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice for the north African country to reflect the changes, which also apply to flights to Morocco from the Netherlands and Germany.
The flight suspension comes into effect from midnight tonight (Wednesday, October 20)
The FCDO said: “Travellers affected by flight cancellations should contact their airline or tour operator for advice on alternative routes via third countries (eg France, Spain) where flights are operating as normal.”
Travellers transiting through third countries should ensure they consult FCDO travel advice for that country for the latest Covid-19 related travel and transit guidance, it added.
In a separate update for Morocco, the FCDO advised that, from October 21, vaccine passes will be required to enter public places in Morocco, including hotels, restaurants and shops.
Airline Royal Air Maroc tweeted to confirm the decision by the country’s authorities and said it would issue unlimited changes to flights without charge.
Upon decisions of national authorities and following the pandemic situation, flights from/to Germany, Netherlands and the UK are suspended from today, Wednesday 20th Oct at 23:59.
— Royal Air Maroc (@RAM_Maroc) October 20, 2021
Zina Bencheikh, managing director EMEA at tour operator Intrepid Travel, said: “This is disappointing for the travel industry but particularly devastating for local people in Morocco who rely on tourism for their livelihood.
“The UK and Germany are among the most important markets for Morocco. After 18 months with virtually no visitors, tourism was slowly beginning to rebound and this announcement will be yet another setback.”
James Wix, owner of the Le Farnatchi hotel in Marrakech, said: the announcement from the Moroccan Foreign Office was “a devasting blow before the UK half term holiday”.
“We were beginning to see our UK travellers return to Morocco, with confidence clearly increasing and bookings coming in for the new year,” he said. “Whilst I respect the government’s efforts to protect the safety of its citizens, I wholeheartedly hope that flights can resume before too long so we can welcome UK tourists seeking winter sun in the run up to Christmas and beyond.”
Elsewhere, the FCDO updated its advice for Cuba to acknowledge the Caribbean destination’s move to lift its quarantine requirement from November 7.