The death toll from COVID-19 in Spain has reached 5,982.
EuropaSur reported on March 27 that the group of Moroccans spent the night in the streets of Algeciras after the owners of the hostels evicted them.
The hostels kicked out the group as police patrols made rounds to check that all accommodation facilities were closed in accordance with the lockdown measures.
The Moroccan families had been residing in Spain and attempted to return to Morocco as the COVID-19 situation in Europe became dire. However, they became stranded in Spain after Morocco closed all land, air, and maritime borders to avoid the spread of the virus from abroad.
The families thrown in the street are subject to danger as the rapidly growing COVID-19 crisis poses an imminent threat.
Spain is the second hardest-hit country in Europe after Italy, with 73,235 cases of the virus. The country’s death toll has reached 5,982 as of March 29.
Morocco’s General Consul in Algeciras, Mohamed Rafaoui, said the consulate is providing the group of stranded Moroccans with food and medicine.
Rafaoui added that the consulate had been covering the accommodation and meal costs of Moroccans stranded in Algeciras, but the Spanish government’s “incomprehensible” decision to close facilities has prevented the consulate from continuing with such assistance measures.
“It is a problem that we cannot solve. It is the government of Spain that must find them a location because it has closed the hostels where they were living,” Rafaoui said, expressing frustration that the families are still on the street.
“We do not understand how a measure is taken to leave some people on the street when a confinement has been declared,” he said.
EuropaSur said the situation is not new, recalling that one hundred Moroccan citizens stranded in Algeciras were bussed to the Mercure Hotel for confinement.
Morocco suspended all international flights on March 15 after restricting land, air, and maritime travel with several countries, including Spain and its enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla. The sudden preventive measures left thousands of Moroccans stranded around the world. Tourists in Morocco have been also affected by the suspension of international flights.