If Morocco does not agree to the new condition of reciprocity, the Spanish borders will remain closed.
Rabat – Spanish government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said Tuesday that Spain will open its borders with Morocco only if the two countries establish a reciprocal agreement to allow people from Spain to enter Morocco.
In other words, Spain will only welcome travelers from Morocco if the North African country opens up its borders to travelers from Spain.
Montero explained that Spain’s reopening strategy is one of “reciprocity” and its borders “will be opened when these states allow entry into their territories.” Montero said Spain is applying the same condition to China, who is keeping borders closed to people from the EU.
Tens of thousands of members of the Moroccan diaspora in Europe transit through Spain to travel to Morocco and return to their country of residence every summer. Both Spanish and Moroccan authorities deploy extra border officials during this period to ensure smooth travels.
“When Morocco sees fit, we will collaborate with them to establish controls so this transfer of thousands of people does not become a health risk,” Montero said.
The outlet quoted the President of the Autonomous City of Melilla, Eduardo de Castro, who said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez informed him of the decision.
“The reopening of borders might be a one-side action, as Spain expects that Morocco’s government will maintain its borders closed until winter,” the outlet added.
Spain has now eliminated the possibility of a “one-side action.” If Morocco does not agree to the new condition of reciprocity, the borders will remain closed.
Developments in international travel
The EU announced on June 26 its decision to open its external borders on July 1 to 14 non-Schengen countries that meet its “epidemiological criteria,” and Morocco was included in the draft list.
After deliberation, the EU finalized on Tuesday a list of 14(+1) “safe” countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
China is included in the list, “but only on the condition of reciprocal action by the Chinese authorities,” one of the EU member states clarified in a press release.
As the policy is not legally binding, EU member states reserve the right to decide if travelers from countries on the list are permitted to cross their borders.
Morocco proactively suspended all international air, maritime, and land travel to contain the spread of COVID-19 on March 15. Domestic flights and tourism activities resumed on June 25 as part of deconfinement measures, but the Moroccan government has not yet announced an official decision on the reopening of borders to international travelers.
Local and international media predict the country will open its borders after the end of the state of emergency on July 10.
The latest update from the Moroccan government came on June 9, when Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said there is no set date for the reopening of borders.