Spain, France bring home thousands stranded in Morocco

Moroccans walk in the old city of Marrakesh. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Morocco was one of Africa's top tourist destinations, receiving 13 million visitors in 2019, according to the World Tourism Organisation

Moroccans walk in the old city of Marrakesh. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Morocco was one of Africa's top tourist destinations, receiving 13 million visitors in 2019, according to the World Tourism Organisation

AFP/File | FADEL SENNA

RABAT - Spain and France are chartering planes and ferries to bring home thousands of their nationals stranded in Morocco because of the pandemic, their embassies said on Twitter.

Rabat last week decided to suspend all passenger flights to and from the two European countries from Tuesday to slow the spread of COVID-19, matching its restrictions on links with other nations.

READ: Tanzanian president says 'not proper' to ignore COVID-19

This has left some 3,000 Spanish and nearly 4,000 French visitors stranded in the kingdom, say diplomatic sources. 

Morocco's announcement last week caused a rush to the airports where people tried to catch the last regular flights, local media reported.

Spain then managed to organise a special flight that left Sunday for Madrid with about 350 passengers. 

The previous day 800 passengers had boarded a ferry from Tangier to the port of Algeciras, the Spanish embassy tweeted. Two other ferries are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, it said.

France has also put on several flights and a ferry is set to leave for Marseille on 10 April, the embassy tweeted.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Morocco was one of Africa's top tourist destinations, receiving 13-million visitors in 2019, according to the World Tourism Organisation.  

Source
AFP

Paid Content