Will Morocco save its summer season?
The gradual resumption of international flights from June 15 and the announcement of Operation Marhaba 2021 for the arrival of Moroccans Residing Abroad (MRE) by sea, as well as the easing of restrictions on site should help revive tourism damaged by the pandemic.
Last summer, according to a note from the Department of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF), tourism receipts had plunged 90.1% in July and 96.7% in August, the borders being then still closed to foreign visitors. .
But if the entry conditions to Morocco are relatively flexible, what about the formalities for the French?
We explain to you.
Read also: Will we be able to travel to Morocco this summer?
"It's the most complete artistic blur"
Can the French travel to Morocco?
From France, according to the official classification published on June 2, Morocco is on the list of orange countries with "active circulation of the virus in controlled proportions, without dissemination of worrying variants".
Clearly, this means that only vaccinated travelers can leave French territory for Morocco, the others having to justify a compelling reason as indicated by the French Ministry of the Interior on its site.
This classification is likely to change depending on sanitary conditions, Morocco being able to slip into the list of green countries, as desired by tourism professionals.
Read also: Travel outside Europe: how the list of countries accepting vaccinated tourists could evolve
What entry conditions?
To enter Morocco, the authorities having classified France like the other countries of the European Union in list A of countries "with positive indicators" with regard to "control of the epidemiological situation", the entry conditions are relatively flexible.
According to a press release published on June 6 by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, coupled with an FAQ published on June 7, only a negative PCR test less than 48 hours before the date of entry into Moroccan territory is required for travelers. whether they are vaccinated or not.
A deadline considered too short by some tourism professionals who would like to see it extended to 72 hours.
To resolve the thorny issue of delays for ferry passengers, the MAE specifies that they "will undergo another test on board".
This summer, like last year, the maritime crossing points between Spain and Morocco will remain closed, which means that you have to go through the ports of Sète in France or Genoa in Italy, and at the same time lengthens the duration of flights. crossings.
Read also: Summer vacation: rush in sight on PCR tests?
What about the return to France?
As for other countries classified orange, if you are not vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), you must justify a compelling reason to travel from Morocco to France. But the French (their spouses and children), foreign nationals residing in France (with a valid residence permit) and European nationals transiting through France (and their spouses and children) are exempt.
Vaccinated or not, travelers must produce a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours or an antigen test of less than 48 hours, and those not vaccinated in addition must agree to undergo a random antigen test on arrival and a self-test. -voluntary isolation of 7 days.
Formalities easy to accomplish in Morocco.
The list of laboratories performing tests has grown since the start of the pandemic, some remaining open seven days a week (with results within 24 hours) and now performing antigenic tests.
The cost of a PCR test is around 500/600 dh (46/55 euros) and antigenic 400 dh (around 37 euros).
How many flights from France?
In the wake of the announcement of the resumption of flights, national (Royal Air Maroc) or international airlines are redeploying their wings.
This summer from Paris CDG, Air France plans 28 weekly flights to Casablanca, 14 to Marrakech and 18 to Rabat and the company announces two openings: Paris-Tangier from June 24 (3 flights per week) and Paris-Agadir in as of July 8 (2 flights per week).
For its part, Transavia operates 14 routes from Paris-Orly, Nantes, Lyon and Montpellier.
TUIfly announces for its part a resumption of links with Oujda, Nador and Agadir from Lille.
For the moment, unless there is a change, it is expected that these flights will be carried out "within the framework of exceptional authorizations", Moroccan airspace still being closed.
What are the conditions on site?
On the spot, the state of health emergency remains in force until July 10, the mask compulsory everywhere but the constraints have eased thanks to an improvement in the epidemiological situation and the progress of the vaccination campaign. . The curfew has been rolled back to 11 p.m. (until 4:30 a.m.), and restaurants and cafes are allowed to open until 11 p.m. The beaches are open throughout Morocco, and after 15 months of sleep, the government has authorized the reopening of theaters, cinemas, cultural centers, museums and monuments with a gauge of 50% of their capacity. What to give a new impetus to cities like Marrakech whose festive reputation had been seriously damaged.
Vernissages, concerts, weddings and other events can resume slowly: gatherings in closed spaces are possible with a capacity of 50 people and in open spaces for less than 100 participants, with the possibility of exceeding this number upon authorization of the authorities. local.
For the moment, if the restaurants have been able to reopen, the Jemaa El-Fna square remains desperately silent, empty of its snake charmers and other jugglers.
Read also: 48 hours in Marrakech, bohemian escape in the red city
This reduction is based on positive indicators in the epidemiological situation of the country. While the vaccination campaign sometimes shows signs of slowing down, 6.78 million people were fully vaccinated and 9.35 million had received a first dose by June 10, the goal being to eventually reach a target population of 30 million. . Since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, Morocco has recorded 522,765 cases and 9,192 deaths.
Like France and Europe, a vaccine passport has been set up in Morocco, which can be downloaded from the liqahcorona.ma site. According to the first information reported by the Moroccan press, this sesame will notably allow its holders to travel throughout the territory without restrictions (inter-city trips remain for the moment subject to authorizations) and to circulate outside the hours. curfew. In its press release, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry specifies that holders of a foreign vaccination passport "will benefit from the same advantages granted by the Moroccan vaccination certificate". The question of harmonization remains to be clarified, the Moroccan authorities considering the vaccine passport valid at the end of 4 weeks after the 2nd dose of vaccine.
In 2019, tourism revenue, which represents about 7% of the national GDP, had reached nearly 78.6 billion dirhams (about 7.2 billion euros) according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism and the number of tourist arrivals. was 12.9 million (+ 5% compared to 2018). At the end of November 2020, the volume of arrivals was down by 78.9% and that of overnight stays by 72.3% according to an economic report. After a campaign last May on the national market, the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) has planned an international relaunch campaign in several markets including France, but its dates have not yet been announced.