The closure of airports comes one week after Morocco announced the suspension of all international flights.
Rabat – Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Rabat-Sale International Airport closed its doors on Thursday, March 19. Other Moroccan airports are also also set to close by the end of the week.
The closure of airports comes after Morocco decided to suspend flights.
On March 15, the Moroccan government announced it was suspending all international flights to and from Morocco. However, the decision left thousands of tourists stranded in the country.
One day after the decision, Moroccan authorities assured worried tourists that they would allow some special outgoing flights to repatriate tourists stuck in Moroccan cities and airports.
Foreign governments liaised with Morocco to arrange repatriation flights throughout the whole week, with the latest flights scheduled for March 20 and 21.
The remaining flights are scheduled to the Netherlands and to the United Kingdom. After the last flights depart, Moroccan airspace will be officially closed Saturday evening.
Morocco’s decision to suspend all international flights is a preventive measure to control the COVID-19 spread.
On March 19, the Ministry of Interior announced that Morocco would enter a state of emergency starting Friday, March 20, at 6 p.m.
The state of emergency aims to limit the movement of citizens and avoid a rise in the numbers of COVID-19 infections. Citizens will only be allowed to leave their homes with a permit for work, medical emergencies, and essential grocery shopping.
As of March 20, Morocco has confirmed 74 COVID-19 cases, including three deaths and two recoveries.
The country remains in its first phase in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, as the number of cases has not yet exceeded 500.