Morocco adds France, Spain, Portugal to List B

Government’s decision seeks to contain spread of new COVID-19 variants amid fury of Moroccan expatriates on social media.

LONDON - The Moroccan government added on Sunday France, Spain and Portugal to its List B countries as a measure to contain the spread of the new COVID-19 variants, dealing a blow to non-vaccinated holidaymakers and Moroccan expatriates who were planning to visit the North African kingdom.

Travellers from the three European countries are now subject to more severe restrictions to enter the Moroccan territory as the measure will come into effect on July 13 at 11:59 p.m.

Travellers, who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, or who have only received the first dose, will be most affected by the latest decision. A negative PCR test of less than 48 hours is required in addition to a controlled quarantine of 10 days in one of the hotels previously designated by local authorities at travellers’ expense.

Travellers will have to perform a new PCR test on the 9th day of the quarantine period. Children under 11 are exempt from PCR tests, regardless of the country of origin.

Vaccinated people who present a vaccination certificate as well as a negative PCR test carried out less than 48 hours before the flight are exempt from the quarantine.

Morocco’s latest announcement has sparked criticism and confusion on social media among Moroccan expatriates who had already bought their tickets.

“My brother and I are leaving on July 17. Why couldn’t we be confined in our home in Morocco? My mother has been waiting for us for a long time, we have to pay €600 for one-way ticket each + the hotel it would be impossible to spend the Eid without my mother,” tweeted Siham.

Morocco has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in the last few days, prompting the authorities to urge caution and stick to preventive measures as the kingdom presses ahead with the vaccination campaign to fight the pandemic.