Morocco suspended all international flights until further notice, but special planes were allowed to repatriate European tourists stranded in the kingdom. Many tourists are still stuck in a country that welcomes 13 million visitors in 2019.
The Moroccan tourist city of Marrakech has almost become an empty city as the numbers of tourists go down following closure of borders over COVID-19 fears. But this means those already in the country cannot go back home.
“From a health point of view, yes, I think I’m safer in Morocco. Morocco has made good decisions, such as closing the borders very early, that is what Europe should have done, but now for me it is very difficult because I have my family, I have a job in France, and I am stuck here and I am alone, so it is not easy”, Franco-Moroccan tourist, Nadia said.
Jamal Saad is former president of the National Tour Guide Federation. He questions the length of the self-imposed lockdown.
“The city lives 80% directly and indirectly through tourism, even the small shopkeeper needs tourism and he will be really impacted. The question is how long will it last? That’s the problem, today people are waiting, the first thing is to protect themselves and to act in solidarity, that’s the first thing to do”, Saad said.
The north African nation on Monday announced drastic new measures to battle the spread of the coronavirus.
Cafes, restaurants, cinemas and places of worship have been closed until further notice. Prayers will resume when officials give the green light according to a press release by a religious -backed organization.