what you need to know as the country reopens to tourists

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Famous for its bustling markets, colorful riads and Saharan sand dunes, Morocco reopened to tourists on Monday.

Fully vaccinated travelers can now visit, after the ban on commercial flights is lifted.

This is the second time the kingdom will welcome travellers, having initially opened to visitors in June last year.

Five months later, the country closed its airspace due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Now, with travel once again an option, visits to the Atlas Mountains, days on the beaches of Essaouira and evenings strolling through Casablanca’s diverse architecture are back on the cards.

Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit Morocco?

All travelers planning to visit Morocco must be fully vaccinated. The second dose of the vaccine must have been taken at least 14 days before the trip.

There are 10 approved vaccines acceptable for travel to the kingdom, including Sinopharm. Children under 18 are exempt from vaccination before travel.

What should I do before traveling to Morocco?

Vaccinated travelers need a negative PCR test before flying to Morocco.  February 7, 2022. Photo by TIMUR MATAHARI / AFP

Before flying, travelers should complete this Passenger Locator Form and have a printed, signed copy to hand to authorities upon arrival.

Travelers will also be required to take a PCR test no later than 48 hours before the flight departure time. Results must be in English, Arabic or French.

Travelers aged 6 and over will undergo an antigen test upon arrival in Morocco and some travelers may be asked to take a second PCR test at airports.

All arriving passengers should also expect to undergo a temperature check and some may be asked to take an additional test at their hotel or residence.

Children under 6 do not need to pass a PCR before flying to Morocco.

Which airlines fly to Morocco?

Emirates and Etihad resume flights from the United Arab Emirates to Casablanca.

Emirates is restarting passenger services to and from Casablanca on Tuesday, February 8.

Dubai Airline flights to the city will depart at 7.30am and arrive at 1.15pm. Return flights leave Casablanca at 3:05 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 1:30 a.m. the following day.

Economy fares for flights in February start from Dh4,500.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will also resume flights to Casablanca. The Abu Dhabi airline will operate flights to and from the northern city from March 3, with return fares for flights in March starting at Dh1,885.

What restrictions are in place in Morocco?

Downtown Rabat, Morocco.  Face masks are mandatory in public places across the kingdom.  PA

The Kingdom of Morocco remains under a state of health emergency. This means there are limits on gatherings, with a maximum of 50 people and that face masks in all public places are mandatory.

Hammams, public swimming pools, beaches and sports facilities are open, but have capacities capped at 5%. Restaurants, cafes, shops and supermarkets must close at 11 p.m.

Travelers need a vaccine pass to enter most public places, including hotels, restaurants, stores, etc. It is important to note that penalties, including fines and jail time, are in place for those who do not follow the rules.

When is the best time to visit Morocco?

The Atlas Mountains are accessible all year round.  Photo: Kasbah Tamadot

Some parts of Morocco can be visited all year round, especially the coastal regions and the Atlas Mountains. Spring and autumn are peak season for much of the kingdom, as that’s when temperatures are warm and pleasant.

If you plan to travel to Casablanca, you can enjoy a Mediterranean summer with cooler temperatures than southern destinations thanks to the city’s cool Atlantic current.

Updated: February 7, 2022, 2:07 p.m.


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