When the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic in March 2020, it’s doubtful any of us had any real idea of how this would play out and for how long. One thing we knew here, that traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic seemed no longer possible, as many countries around the world shut down international borders.
For the vast majority of us, it’s safe to say that the “new normal” of living during this COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives: we can no longer take for granted such simple things as visiting with family and friends, going to concerts or cinemas, and especially, travel.
But now that this pandemic has lasted more than 1 year, many of us are itching to travel once again. Mint Tea Tours has had many inquiries about traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, so here is our top 10 things you need to consider when making your Moroccan travel plans!
Traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 Pandemic: Top 10 Things to Consider
- First of all, it’s important to find out: what are your home country’s current rules about international travel? Some countries currently do not allow or have severely limited the type of international travel possible during this COVID-19 pandemic. Does your home country currently allow non-essential travel, and if so, does your home country authorize traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic?
- If your home country currently allows traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to register with your home country’s embassy or consulate in Morocco, and/or with its international travelers’ program. This is typically free of charge and can help you to get any travel advisories and alerts direct from your country’s consular services as well as help them to assist you in case of any emergency. Here are some of the most common programs for some majority English-speaking countries:
- If you don’t want to register with your home country’s international travelers’ program, or if your home country doesn’t have one, then here’s something else to consider: Before and while traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, try to keep active on social media by following the Facebook page or Twitter accounts of your airline(s) and embassy/consulate of your home country in Morocco. Social media allows for rapid and widespread distribution of information, often faster than web pages or mobile apps, and often these social media accounts are more responsive, should you contact them with an issue.
- Traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic will require a little more effort than previously needed. For example, you’ll need to understand and adhere to Morocco’s current entry requirements. Even if your home country allows travel to Morocco, Morocco may not currently accept travelers from your home country, or travelers transiting through certain countries. One place to verify is via the Facebook page of Morocco’s National Office of Airports (ONDA).
If your country of residence and any transit countries have cleared traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll need to provide a negative PCR test result (“rapid” tests are not considered valid!), the test and subsequent results of which must be dated within 72 hours of your flight, along with proof of your hotel reservations – these will be validated by your airline when checking in for your flight. Upon arrival in Morocco, you will likely need to present once again your negative PCR test result, and you’ll also be required to complete a “Fiche Sanitaire” or Public Health Passenger Form, which requests some basic travel information such as your flight and seat number, your recent travel history (such as countries visited), and of course, personal information such name, birthdate, passport details, etc. The form should be provided by Moroccan authorities, but you will still want to make sure that you have a pen in order to complete it! We have heard that some airlines may also require this form at check-in, so you may want to download and complete it before heading to the airport for your departing flight. Morocco does not currently require any quarantine periods upon arrival for tourists in Morocco. As it currently stands, Morocco does not make any exceptions to the negative PCR requirement, even if you have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Don’t rely on the sale of flights as “proof” that traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic will be possible and that borders between countries are open. Unfortunately, during the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, we saw many airlines who continued to sell flights and then would ultimately cancel the flights as borders were still closed, often with no advance notice and preferred to push vouchers, rather than reimbursement. We don’t claim to understand this practice, other than of course airlines are a business who want to make money. The good news is that now many airlines are offering free changes and extended change dates which favors travelers and makes them feel more at-ease with traveling during these uncertain times.
Something you may not have thought of when booking your flights: you may need to coordinate your flight dates with PCR testing and delivery of results. For example, maybe you have a flight booked for a Monday – will you be able to have your results delivered to you on the weekend?
- Another thing to consider when traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic: What are Morocco’s current local regulations? Presently, this includes such things as mandatory mask-wearing in public, temperature checks and sanitizing of hands before entering stores or other locations, recommendation of social distancing, limited occupancy in hotels/riads, limited number of un-related people in tourism transport vehicles, nighttime curfews, etc.
- The tourism industry across the world, but especially in Morocco, has been devastated by this COVID-19 pandemic. As a result and likely until tourism to Morocco can make a comeback, some restaurants, hotels/riads and tourist attractions may be closed while you’re traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic. For hotel/riad bookings via a third party, you may want to reach out to the establishment directly to make sure they are in fact open for business. In your pre-planning and while traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, be prepared with some alternative choices.
- Many people typically travel without any sort of travel insurance, but when traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to seriously consider buying comprehensive travel insurance. This could help to mitigate financial losses in cases of your trip’s cancellation or interruption, medical coverage in case you were to fall seriously ill, and emergency repatriation flights in case of sickness or border closings. Make sure to read any fine print to ensure that Morocco as a destination is covered as well as the various scenarios described above.
- It may be strange to consider your return when you haven’t even started traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s important to research: what are your home country’s re-entry requirements? Many countries may have some strict re-entry requirements when it’s time to return to your home country. For example, maybe you will need to present a negative PCR test before boarding your return flight home, or maybe you will need to quarantine upon arrival back home. If you do need to get tested before returning home, find out if rapid tests are accepted, and then you’ll need to research the where/when/how/how much of getting tested for COVID-19 while you are still enjoying discovering the beauty of Morocco!
- It probably goes without saying that we here at Mint Tea Tours believe that the best way to travel to Morocco is with a private tour! And if you’re not yet convinced, we would caution that traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic might NOT be the best time for discovering the kingdom on your own, especially if it’s your first trip here. Why? As locals, and “in-country” locals at that, we will have a better idea of the current situation, because we are already living it. Booking a private tour to Morocco with a reputable travel / transport agency, such as Mint Tea Tours, is a way to feel supported while traveling to Morocco during these unprecedented and uncertain times. For any announcements, there are not reliable English-speaking news sources here in Morocco; instead, whether radio, TV or digital, news is most often in Arabic and sometimes French, so your private driver will be a great asset when you need something translated. Running low on personal protective equipment? Your private driver can show you where to buy hand sanitizer, anti-viral wipes, disposable masks and/or face shields. Need to get tested for COVID-19 before returning home? Your private driver can find a testing facility and coordinate your testing and the delivery of your results in time for your departing flight.
Choose Mint Tea Tours for your upcoming trip to Morocco – we provide the expertise and guidance needed to assure you that traveling to Morocco during this COVID-19 pandemic IS possible and can be a smooth and worry-free experience!
The information within this blog post is current as of its publication date (5/2021). Because information and regulations may change quickly and/or without much advance notice, we strongly urge you to stay informed of current affairs and consider what alternative travel plans may be necessary. Mint Tea Tours cannot and will not be held liable for any impact to your travels based on the content of this blog post.