Morocco prepares to reopen borders in July

This article was originally published on Morocco World News, on June 27, 2020.

Morocco’s land, air, and sea borders are expected to reopen in July, following the country’s nationwide state of emergency that is set to conclude on July 10.

After months of adhering to protective measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, Morocco is strategically working towards the resumption of socio-economic activities, as well as domestic and international travel.

The news of Morocco’s border opening comes after the European Union announced July 1 as its planned date to open external borders to a select number of countries. Morocco is among 14 countries that met the EU’s epidemiological criteria and is included on their draft list.

As summer quickly approaches, Moroccans may soon enjoy travel around their neighboring continent and the North African country may be able to revitalize its economy, shaken by the void in tourism.

On March 15, following the confirmation of 28 COVID-19 cases, Morocco suspended all international flights and shut down its land and sea borders. Shortly after, on March 19, the country declared a state of emergency and ordered a strict lockdown for all residents. 

The international community has repeatedly recognized Morocco for its proactive and effective measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. With relatively low numbers of confirmed cases and holding one of the lowest fatality rates in the world, the country has responded to the pandemic with the utmost caution.

Morocco has extended its state of emergency three times and despite thousands of Moroccan citizens stuck abroad, the country was adamant about holding off on repatriations until recently.

The Moroccan authorities have not yet released official dates regarding the border reopening or which countries would immediately benefit from the travel authorization. The country continues to lift its state of emergency measures in phases and by classifying its provinces and prefectures into zones. 

Residents in Zone 1 may now travel to other cities classified as Zone 1 and no longer need special authorization to leave their home. Zone 1 residents have also been relieved from curfew regulations. Meanwhile, residents in Zone 2 continue to self-isolate and must limit going outside to essential needs.

Throughout the country, restrictions still prohibit large gatherings and require protective face masks to be worn in public.

As of June 27, Morocco counts 2,936 active COVID-19 cases. There have been 11,854 recoveries and 218 deaths.

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