Canada announced on Saturday the month-long suspension of all direct commercial and private flights from Morocco, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Transport explains its decision in a statement by “the increase in the number of positive results for Covid-19 tests observed in travelers from Morocco in recent months”.
Consequently, Canada indicates that it publishes a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) aimed at restricting all direct flights by commercial and private passengers to Canada from Morocco from August 29, 2021 at 12:01 am EDT (04:01 GMT), until September 29, 2021, 12:00 am EDT (04:00 GMT).
Freight flights as well as medical transfers or military flights are excluded from this measure.
Canada specifies that flights from Morocco already en route will be allowed to enter Canada but that travelers arriving on these flights will have to be screened upon arrival.
Passengers traveling to Canada from Morocco stopping over in another country “will have to pass a valid Covid-19 test before leaving a third country (other than Morocco) to continue their journey to in Canada,” says the ministry.
Ottawa will work in collaboration with the Moroccan government and the airlines to “ensure that appropriate procedures are put in place to allow a safe resumption of direct flights as soon as conditions allow,” adds Transport Canada.
The circulation of the virus is not slowing down in Morocco: in total, 843,357 cases, including 12,268 deaths, have been recorded since the start of screening in March 2020, according to an official report given on Friday.
The Moroccan authorities postponed the start of the school year from September 3 to 10 due to the pandemic and in particular widened the night curfew at the beginning of August (from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local), banned gatherings of more than 25 people and restricted travel to and from three major cities of the country: Casablanca, Marrakech and Agadir.