Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Morocco closes border with Spain's Ceuta and Melilla to stem spread of COVID-19 March 13 until further notice.

This alert affects Morocco

This alert began 13 Mar 2020 12:56 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: March 13
  • Impact: Increased security, localized traffic disruptions

Summary
Moroccan authorities closed the border with the Spanish autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, located on the north coast of Africa, March 13 until further notice in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The border closures come a day after Moroccan authorities suspended all flights and maritime passenger services to and from Spain until further notice in response to COVID-19.

Morocco's state carrier, Royal Air Maroc (AT), announced March 8 that it had suspended all flights to the Italian cities of Milan and Venice. Flight operations will resume April 8. Royal Air Maroc suspended all direct flights to China in January.

Additional travel restrictions and business disruptions remain likely in the coming days, as COVID-19 could spread in Morocco.

Background and Analysis
The purpose of the travel restrictions is to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which originated in China's Wuhan City in Hubei Province. The WHO has declared the virus a pandemic. As of March 12, there have been five confirmed cases in Morocco and one death.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.