Canada suspends direct passenger flights from Morocco due to COVID-19

Canada suspends direct passenger flights from Morocco due to COVID-19

Direct commercial and private flights from Morocco will no longer be permitted to enter Canada for the next 30 days.

Transport Canada announced Saturday that it will temporarily ban all direct flights from the Kingdom of Morocco beginning on Aug. 29 due to a recent rise in positive COVID-19 tests detected in travellers arriving from the country.

The ban applies to all direct commercial and private passenger flights arriving from Morocco. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are exempt from the ban, which will expire on Sept. 29 unless extended by Transport Canada.

“Like every other element of Canada’s COVID-19 response, border measures are based on available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally. An increase in COVID-19 positive test results has been observed in travellers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the past month,” Transport Canada said in a media release.

Additionally, passengers travelling from Morocco via a third country will be required to obtain a valid negative COVID-19 test prior to departure. The third-country testing requirement will also come into effect on Aug. 29.

Both Royal Air Maroc and Air Canada operate scheduled non-stop flights between Montreal and Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco. Eleven flights from Casablanca added to Canada’s COVID-19 exposure list since Aug. 20.

Located in northern Africa, Morocco — like many other countries around the world — has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. According to the World Health Organization, the country of nearly 37 million people has reported more than 125,000 cases in the past 18 days. Canada, which has a similar-sized population as Morocco but far more people vaccinated, has recorded slightly more than 40,500 cases during the same period.

“Canada continues to closely monitor the situation, and will be working closely with the Government of Morocco and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe resumption of direct flights as soon as conditions permit,” said Transport Canada.

A similar ban is also in place for non-stop flights from India.

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Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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