Morocco has also repatriated hundreds of its nationals from Spain, Turkey, and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
Rabat – The Moroccan government will commence repatriation operations for Moroccans stranded in the UAE beginning Monday, June 22.
A source familiar with the repatriation process told Morocco World News that an Royal Air Maroc flight will repatriate the first group of Moroccans stranded in the UAE on Monday.
The flight, which will depart from Dubai at 7 pm local time, will prioritize people in precarious situations, including the elderly and those suffering from illnesses, as well as pregnant women and children.
A second Dubai-Agadir bound flight is scheduled for Wednesday June 24.
Authorities will transfer citizens to Agadir for quarantine to make sure they are not carrying COVID-19.
The country’s borders remain closed to international travel but the Moroccan government decided to begin repatriating its nationals after facing heavy criticism from international and local media.
More than 33,000 citizens were stranded around the world for more than three months after Morocco closed its borders on March 15 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The country entered a state of emergency for the first time on March 20. After the government approved three extensions, the state of emergency is currently effective until July 10.
Morocco has, however, taken on a gradual lockdown-lifting strategy, dividing the country’s provinces into two zones depending on the severity of their epidemiological situations.
Zone 1 will enjoy more lockdown relaxations come June 24, including the reopening of restaurants, cafes, hammams, and hotels. The measures will also include the reopening of other public spaces such as beaches, with respect to preventive measures.
Residents in both Zones 1 and 2 are able to move without exceptional movement permits, but those in Zone 2 must obtain permission from local authorities if they wish to travel to a province outside of their zone.
Activities and venues that will remain suspended nationally include wedding parties, cinemas, wedding spaces, museums, funerals, swimming pools, and theaters.