Coronavirus: Morocco suspends air & sea connections with France; closes its Ports to all passenger ships

Morocco decided this Friday to suspend, until further notice, all air and sea connections with France over fears of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread around the world and particularly in the European continent.

The decision was discussed between King Mohammed VI and President Emmanuel Macron, as well as between the relevant governmental authorities of the two countries, which decided to carry on their coordination during this global health crisis.

France has so far confirmed 2,876 cases, including 129 in serious condition, and 61 deaths.

On Thursday, Morocco has halted all flights from and to Spain as well as maritime passenger connections.

Spain is among the worst-hit countries in the world, with at least 4,334 coronavirus cases and 193 deaths.

The Moroccan government had earlier decided to stop all flights and maritime links with Italy, currently under lockdown due to the COVID-19 which has so far sickened 15,113 and killed 1,016, the highest toll after China.

In the same vein, the North African Kingdom has also suspended flights to and from neighboring Algeria until further notice as a preventive measure against the killer COVID-19. Algeria has reported 26 cases and two deaths.

Also on Thursday, Morocco banned all cruise ships, leisure boats or passenger ships from docking in its ports, making it clear that the suspensions are temporary.

However, cargo ships and boats carrying semi-trailer trucks with their drivers will continue their business as usual.

Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc has grounded a third of its fleet as bookings plummeted due to coronavirus outbreak, which is affecting the local hotel industry and tourist sector.

To avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moroccan authorities cancelled all “moussems” (religious gatherings), banned fans from all football matches and called off trade, sporting, cultural and artistic events.

Morocco has so far confirmed seven coronavirus cases and one death. The two first cases, a 39-year old Moroccan man and an 89-year Moroccan woman, both came from Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus epidemic. The old woman, who was suffering from chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases passed away on Tuesday March 10.
The five other cases are three French tourists, a couple and their daughter, who arrived in Marrakech, a French-Senegalese woman who arrived in Fez, and a Moroccan national, who arrived in Casablanca on Wednesday March 4, from Spain, and who was confirmed infected this Friday.
Globally, the virus infected more than 140,000 people in 118 countries across the world and killed over 5,123, according to the latest tally posted on www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. However, over half the infected persons, 70,733, have recovered.

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