Regular COVID-19 testing is within the office’s preventive protocol to limit the spread of the virus.
Rabat – Morocco’s National Office of Tourism (ONMT) announced today its decision to temporarily close its headquarters in Rabat after eight of its staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
ONMT affirmed that the last screening test that took place, on September 16, revealed eight COVID-19 positive cases, according Morocco’s state media. None of the carriers showed any symptoms.
The headquarters will remain closed until the situation is sorted and the office establishes a disinfection procedure for its facilities.
The tourism office pledged to make the safety of its teams its first priority in compliance with the sanitary rules issued by the Ministry of Health, according to the same source.
The entity reassured its partners that the rest of its offices run normally, noting that it initiated a digitization process that will allow headquarters personnel to continue to carry out their functions.
The closure of ONMT headquarters comes as Morocco works to revive tourism after the COVID-19 crisis negatively impacted the sector.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Morocco, the government has adopted several measures to help revive the tourism sector, which represents 11% of the country’s GDP.
On May 13, Morocco’s House of Representatives adopted Draft Bill 30.20, aiming to support the sector by keeping businesses afloat and guaranteeing consumer rights. The bill aims to “help travel agencies, tourism companies, owners of tourist transport and air transport of passengers faced with financial and socio-economic difficulties.”
On July 16, Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui announced the launch of a new program to revive the sector in Morocco.
The program will maintain the continuity of jobs, accelerate the integration of employees in vulnerable situations, and develop products that serve to promote domestic tourism.
Morocco also made a bold step by opening borders for tourists, via Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia Maroc. The low-cost company announced on September 11 that some tourists would be allowed back into the country despite the extension of the state of health emergency.
The COVID-19 crisis has directly affected jobs related to tourism as well.
Morocco’s National Social Security Fund (CNSS) announced on September 16 the extension of the application deadline for tourism operators wishing to benefit from financial support.