The Moroccan government vowed to continue repatriation operations for the benefit of Moroccans stranded in Canada but has not yet announced details regarding the return of nationals stuck in the US.
Rabat – A flight operated by Royal Air Maroc (RAM) touched down on Saturday carrying 290 Moroccans who were stranded in Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic, border closures, and restrictions on international travel.
The Embassy and Consulate General of Morocco in Canada organized the flight, which departed from Montreal’s international airport and landed in Agadir on July 4.
The same plane had earlier arrived at the Montreal airport carrying Canadians who were stranded in Morocco, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
Following the repatriation of Canadians, Montreal authorities assisted the embassy and consulate in making use of the same aircraft for the benefit of Moroccans stuck in Canada.
On its way back to Morocco, the RAM flight returned home 290 Moroccans, prioritizing people with chronic illnesses and those who underwent medical procedures in Canada. The list of returnees also included pregnant women, youth, and minors.
The repatriates will spend nine days in quarantine in Morocco to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19.
“We are happy and relieved that our compatriots can finally return to their country and find their parents, relatives, and friends from whom they have been separated for almost 4 months,” said Morocco’s Ambassador in Ottawa, Souriya Otmani.
The flight, the ambassador continued, could not repatriate all of the stranded Moroccans in Canada.
“There are still several hundred waiting and hoping to be able to return to Morocco soon,” she told MAP. She said Moroccan authorities are “working tirelessly” to organize another repatriation operation.
A repatriation flight operated by Air Canada should take place in the coming days, Moroccan state media reported.
A diplomatic source confirmed to Morocco World News last week that the country was set to begin repatriating Moroccans stranded in Canada on Saturday. The source, however, said Morocco has not yet confirmed the start date to repatriate citizens from the US, one of the major epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since May, the Moroccan government has repatriated thousands of Moroccans stranded in more than 17 countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, France, Egypt, Algeria, Spain, and the UAE.