The decision came a few hours after Morocco’s national airline announced the suspension of all flights to Italy.
Rabat – Amid growing fears of a major novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Morocco has suspended all of its maritime connections with highly-infected Italy.
The directorate of the merchant navy at the Moroccan ministry of transport and logistics made the announcement on Tuesday, March 10.
The decision is in line with the government’s directives to prevent the spread of COVID-19, said the directorate.
The suspension concerns all boats traveling between Moroccan and Italian seaports. Lifting the suspension is dependent on the evolution of the epidemic in the European country, explained the institution.
“The companies concerned must take the necessary measures to inform passengers and avoid their travel to the ports of departure,” recommends the directorate.
There are two regular maritime routes linking Morocco to Italy. The first route links the Tangier-Med Port to Genoa, northwestern Italy, while the second links Tangier-Med Port to Savona, near Genoa.
Earlier on the same day, Morocco’s national air carrier Royal Air Maroc announced its decision to suspend all flights to Italy.
Italy is currently the country with the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, at over 10,100 cases and more than 630 reported deaths.
On March 9, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine on the entire country. The PM advised all Italians to stay at home except for necessities, work, and health circumstances.
In Morocco, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases currently stands at five. Two of the patients contracted the virus in Italy, while three became infected in France.
Morocco also recorded its first death due to the virus on March 10. The deceased was an 89-year-old Moroccan woman who arrived in the country from Italy in late February. She suffered from several chronic illnesses that worsened her situation, according to the ministry of health.