Morocco ‘faces bankruptcy’ just after border closures extended more than Omicron menace

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Morocco has extended a ban on international passenger flights until eventually the finish of January to fight the spread of the Omicron variant. The closure bargains a serious blow to its important tourism financial system, with these performing in the sector warning Morocco is going bankrupt.

The National Office of Airports (ONDA) declared on Friday that all passenger flights to and from Morocco would be suspended until finally 31 January 2021.

Royal Air Maroc – the local airline – said that its scheduled exceptional flights between 24 December and 31 December 2021 would continue to function.

The federal government imposed the evaluate to operate originally from late November until finally 31 December, even though a system had been in place for Moroccan citizens abroad to arrive home.

Now the only passenger movements permitted are 1-off repatriation flights for international citizens in the kingdom, authorised on a case-by-situation basis by Rabat.

The federal government has also banned all New Year’s Eve celebrations and reimposed a evening-time curfew

Festivals and cultural gatherings have been banned considering that the starting of December.

An aged Moroccan gets a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the town of Sale. © AFP/Fadel Senna

A bankrupt tourism sector

The limitations have hit Morocco’s financial state, which relies seriously on tourism. The sector is already on its knees just after two misplaced seasons since of the pandemic.

1 business official quoted by the Medias24 information web site explained the sector confronted losses of at least 88 million euros among Xmas and the New Year.

The region welcomed some two million vacationers about summer season 2021, as opposed to just 165,000 the prior summer months, according to the financial system ministry.

But hopes of an upturn were being dashed by one more spike in scenarios in Europe, adopted by news of the Omicron variant which the WHO thinks could be much more transmissible and resistant to vaccines.

And as their nation joins other states close to the world battling yet a different wave of bacterial infections, Moroccan hoteliers have lost the small hope they had.

“We were being incredibly optimistic with the arrival of the New Year, but these selections took us by surprise,” said Khalid Moubarak, secretary common of the National Federation of Journey Businesses of Morocco.

“We have been on the edge of individual bankruptcy.