Rabat – The Spanish shipping company Balearia has scheduled a repatriation ferry to help Spanish nationals and residents to return home amid COVID-19-related flight suspensions.
The Spanish embassy in Morocco announced that the shipping company will operate the ferry from Tanger Med port, in northern Morocco, to Algeciras, Spain. The ferry will depart Morocco at 1 p.m. on April 22.
According to Balearia, the repatriation ferry will be available to “Spanish travelers already resident in Spain, foreigners with a study visa or family reunification, stay visas (ESC, EET, EXT and VET) and all Type D residence visas as well as citizens of the European Union.”
The company specifies that for repatriation, “passengers must be able to prove their destination within Spain.”
The repatriation ferry will be available to foot passengers as well as those with a vehicle “with European registration or registration distinctive yellow Moroccan diplomatic corps, Consular Corps, [or] international aid workers.”
Health measures such as mask-wearing will be mandatory for the crossing.
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Balearia also specifies that “passengers traveling without vehicles must be present at the port 2 hours before the departure of the ferry,” while those traveling with a vehicle, especially trucks, “must be present in the port 5 hours before the departure of the ferry.”
Morocco’s government suspended flights with Spain on March 31, as part of Morocco’s preventive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Since then, Spain has made various efforts to repatriate its nationals, whether by air or by sea. On April 4, the Spanish authorities managed to successfully repatriate nearly 1,200 Spaniards from the North African country.
On the day, a ferry operated by Balearia departed the port of Tangier Med, Morocco, for Algeciras, Spain, carrying 800 passengers on board.
On the same afternoon, additional 348 passengers flew from Casablanca to the Spanish capital Madrid, on a special flight chartered by the Iberia airline.
While Iberia originally chartered a 200-seater plane, in order to speed up repatriation, the airline opted for the Airbus A350 with a capacity of 348 passengers.