The country has announced the suspension of sea and air links “until further notice” to prevent the spread of the new virus. But a solution has been found to repatriate French nationals, announces Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Morocco has authorized flights to allow French nationals to return home, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian announced on Saturday March 14. This announcement follows the suspension decided the day before by air and sea links, particularly to France, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
“The first flights were able to depart this morning”, said the French minister on Twitter. Jean-Yves Le Drian adds that “the necessary authorizations for the organization of return flights will be given” and that the French Embassy in Morocco is mobilized, as is the ministry's crisis center.
The necessary authorizations for the organization of return flights will be given. Our Embassy at #Morocco and the ministry's crisis center are fully mobilized to serve our nationals.@francediplo @AmbaFranceMorocco
– Jean-Yves Le Drian (@JY_LeDrian) March 14, 2020
Subsequently, Emmanuel Macron discussed new flights “being organized” to allow returns to France. The President of the Republic asked “to the Moroccan authorities to ensure that everything necessary is done as soon as possible”.
To our compatriots stranded in Morocco: new flights are being organized to allow you to return to France. I ask the Moroccan authorities to ensure that everything necessary is done as soon as possible.
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 14, 2020
Moroccan authorities announced suspension “until further notice” air links to France, Algeria, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Italy, as well as passenger traffic. Spain is one of the European countries most affected by the pandemic, with more than 5,700 cases identified and at least 136 deaths. In France, Covid-19 disease, caused by the new coronavirus, has killed 79 people and infected more than 3,600.
Morocco remains relatively spared with 17 detected cases, one of which died and another cured, according to the latest report published by the authorities, which identified nine new cases overnight from Friday to Saturday. Cultural gatherings have been suspended, sporting events are held behind closed doors and only collective prayers in mosques are allowed.