It is absolutely necessary to visibly date posts giving information about how to travel in and out of Morocco, as things can change very quickly !
Overall situation in Morocco
Pandemic is aggressive, replication rate is high but, as of now, there is no global lockdown to be foreseen. Nevertheless, strict measures have been implemented for a few weeks, and the situation can evolve from day to day.
The various measures proposed/recommended to fight against the Covid are not really respected, large meetings, migrations for Eid El Kebir, attempts to support tourism this summer, mosques reopening, population’s tiredness of the situation and their urgent need to work … all these factors result in a lack of isolation, a quick circulation of the virus and a dangerous increase of the number of people admitted in hospitals.
Morocco is not a “Safe Country”
At the beginning of the summer, European Union removed Morocco from its list of safe countries and did not list it back since. Impacts depends from the country you want to travel to / come from.
Curfew in large cities
There is a curfew in some important cities :
in Casablanca, local markets (suks) close at 15h, shops, supermarkets, restaurants at 20h and the curfew is enforced from 21h to 6am. Groups of more than 10 people are prohibited.
In Tangiers and Tetouan shops close at 21h, restaurants at 23h when the curfew starts, till 5 am
Al Hoceima is under curfew from 21 to 6 am and prohibits public meetings, celebrations and familial events of more than 10 people
Marrakech and Agadir are not under curfew, but restaurants must close at 23h.
Circulation between cities is restricted
Enforced in July 2020, these restrictions apply to 8 cities :
Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangiers, Tetouan, Fez, Meknes, Berrechid and Settat are isolated from the rest of Morocco.
The traveil ban has never been lifted since, any entry or exit from one of these cities requires a special authorization from the bacha (head of local administration), issued only for a professionnal or sanitary reason, or a travel with a confirmed hotel booking, etc.
The controls severity and the enforcement of this interdiction depends of when, where and how you travel. You might be blocked or not even asked your authorization. It’s easier to travel by car than by train, for example.
Local and limited lock-downs
Finally, in some cities, some districts can be isolated. It’s the case of Aïn Sbâa in Casablanca, for example.
Borders closure : a real risk ?
No country wishes to fully and totally close its borders again. The restrictions measures implemented in spring and summer has not all been cancelled. The US passport remains one of the weakest in the world. But what has been opened should not be totally closed again.
When France announces it was going to lockdown again, the President mentionned closing aerial borders for countries out of Schengen, with the mention that nationals and people residing in France should always be able to come back.
Actually, most of the countries that opened again their boarders with Morocco did not totally forbid travelling to the country, but they might have specific requirements :
- France requires a special authorization for all travellers coming back from outside of the EU, hence for Morocco. It also requires a negative PCR test, realized less than 72 hours or a quarantine on arrival, BUT the airlines operating in Morocco won’t let you board without this test.
- UK also limits travelling away,up to now till December 2nd, and does not ban travelers from Morocco to enter on return, but requires a 14 days self-isolation. This applies also to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- The US does not require any self-isolation, as long as one can board a flight.
- Ireland requires self-isolation for 14 days.
- Canada asks for a self evaluation on arrival, and that the traveler has a plan for a self-isolation of two weeks
How to enter Morocco ?
A negative PCR test made 72 hours maximum before departure
Attention : up to now, the date taken into account was the date you received your results, event if the test was made a few days before. It now the date of the test. Many labs not being able to provide results so quickly, it diminishes the possibilities.
An anti-Covid travel insurance
Not yet required by Morocco (when Algeria demands it), a specific insurance cover for Covid remains a good idea. In any case, it is recommended to check whether you are covered by your usual travel insurance in case of Covid.
Attention (again) : some countries like Switzerland refuse that the healthcare system covers Covid related costs if you travelled in a risky country.
A professional invitation
This invitation should be detailed and mention :
- all official information about the company inviting (on a letterhead)
- the identity of the person signing the invitation (Moroccan way, with CNI number at least)
- its role and delegation in the company
- you identity (Moroccan way, with your passport number and your address in your country of residence)
- the identification of your company (with registration number and official address) or of yourself if you are a freelancer without a structure
- the precise reason of your travel (“for professional reason” is not specific enough, “in order to meet potential customers for such and such project” or “in order to take part in technical meetings about such and such that cannot be held virtually for such and such reason” are precise enough).
- your address in Morocco for the duration of your stay (that should be the same as your hotel booking, by the way)
- and, of course, this letter must be signed, stamped and scanned.
A confirmed hotel booking
This confirmed booking must also be written on a letterhead, better than the simple copy of an email. AirBnB bookings are more scrutinized than hotel bookings.
A rental or a document proving you own a property
Even if you don’t have a residency visa, a document proving you own or rent a lodging will help you get the authorization to come in Morocco.
A family book with an authorization from your local Moroccan consulate
In the same way, a family book proving you are a spouse, child or parent of a Moroccan or a person with residency is a pass to travel to Morocco. You’ll need a special paper issued by your local Moroccan consulate, based on the copy of the CNI or you Moroccan family member and the document justifying family links.
Transportation means remain limited
Be aware that borders are not wide open. Flights are limited, not all companies operate.
For boats, only GNV ferries (Italian company) are running. Ceuta and Melilla borders remain closed.
Flights are more expensive than usual and can be modified or cancelled last minute (a few days ago, many flights between Belgium and Morocco had been cancelled).
Travel back from Morocco
To go back to your country, after your trip to Morocco, you’ll need a negative PCR test made in the last 72 hours, and this whatever is your destination if you fly Royal Air Maroc.
Labs able to provide the results as quickly are not many in Morocco.
A PCR test in a private lab costs between 600 and 750 dirhams.