Morocco puts travel pause on UK, Germany and Netherlands

Royal Air Maroc said Wednesday’s decision was 'due to the evolution of the pandemic'

Morocco is suspending all direct flights with Germany, the Netherlands and Britain over Covid-19 concerns, effective October 21.

Flights will stop from 10.59pm GMT on Wednesday “until further notice,” Morocco's national airline said on Wednesday.

All three European countries are suffering from rising Covid cases and the move comes after Morocco suspended commercial flights with Russia.

Royal Air Maroc said Wednesday’s decision was “due to the evolution of the pandemic” in the three western European countries.

Morocco, which has inoculated most of its adult population, has a mandatory vaccine pass in operation for access to public places and intercity travel.

Its weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on October 14 stood at 10.4 for every 100,000 people, latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show. The current rate in the UK is 445.5 for every 100,000 people.

EasyJet cancelled two flights from Gatwick and Manchester to Marrakesh on Wednesday, but planned to operate flights in the opposite direction to bring passengers back to the UK before the ban came into force.

“We are still awaiting clarity from the Moroccan authorities as to whether we are permitted to operate repatriation flights beyond midnight today,” the airline said.

British Airways cancelled flights between Heathrow and Marrakesh, which were due to resume on Thursday after being suspended by pandemic lockdowns.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry urged citizens in Morocco to immediately contact their travel companies.

Dutch airline Transavia said it was investigating whether it could get clearance to fly beyond the midnight cut-off “to pick up stranded passengers” from Morocco.

The UK recorded almost 50,000 new infections in a single day this week.

There was a 7 per cent rise in new coronavirus cases across Europe last week, the only region in the world where cases increased, the World Health Organisation said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a nationwide week-long paid holiday in an attempt to curb Covid-19 infections.

Updated: October 20th 2021, 6:32 PM