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Morocco reopens airspace after 2-month virus shutdown

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Morocco's vital tourism sector has been battered by the pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions./AFP
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Feb 08, 2022 - 06:30 AM

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO — Morocco reopened its airspace on Monday in a bid to breathe life into its crisis-hit tourism sector, two months after it cancelled commercial flights over coronavirus fears.

The North African kingdom’s latest move was welcomed by tourism businesses who have suffered two lost years due to the pandemic, as well as by Moroccans stranded abroad.

Passengers heading to the kingdom will still need to show proof of vaccination against the Covid-19 illness and a negative PCR test within the past 48 hours, the government said in a statement.

On arrival, they will undergo further rapid tests and some will be chosen at random for another PCR test, it said.

It also warned tourists of “the possibility of an additional test at their hotel or place of residence 48 hours after their entry into the country”, with positive cases obliged to self-isolate.

Morocco’s vital tourism sector has been battered by the pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions, with a 71 percent drop in arrivals in 2021 compared to 2019 and some eight billion euros in losses.

Authorities have vowed to launch a promotional campaign for “destination Morocco” and say they are working with airlines to relaunch the sector.

Rabat has also laid out a more than 180-million-euro campaign to keep jobs and firms in the sector on life support — but many say the funds are not enough.

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