The decision of the EU is based on epidemiology and reciprocity.
The EU announced the decision to lift travel restrictions for the 15 countries today.
The European body is set to evaluate the list of countries every two weeks and make adjustments as necessary, depending on the development of the epidemiological situation in all of the countries selected.
In addition to Moroccans, travelers from Tunisia, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, and China are all permitted to enter the Schengen Area starting July 1. The decision is subject to application of reciprocity, and China’s inclusion on the list is pending its potential allowance of EU citizens within its borders.
Earlier today, Spain announced that it will open its borders with Morocco only if the two countries establish a reciprocal agreement to also allow people from Spain to enter Morocco.
It is still unsure whether Morocco will take the same decision and allow visitors from its neighbor across the Strait of Gibraltar, given the recent continuous increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the North African country totaled 12,385 as of 10 a.m. on June 30.
The country’s borders have been closed since mid-March in support of the efforts seeking to contain the spread of COVID-19.
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.
While the EU was set to vote on the decision last week on Saturday, EU member states needed more time to determine whether they could open external borders with the 14(+1) countries considered to be safe.
It remains to be seen whether Morocco will announce any plans to reopen its borders in the coming month.
Morocco reopened domestic flights on June 25 to help revive its economy and tourism sector, which were directly affected by COVID-19.