05 – 10 July, 2020 | Press Review Morocco

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11 July, 2020: Women in Morocco are overexposed to COVID-19, according to HCP

An objective observation. In Morocco, the over-representation of women in jobs related to health and care services overexposes them to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and increases the risk of contamination in their homes, noted the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP).

The HCP, on the occasion of World Population Day, celebrated this year under the theme of protecting the rights and health of women and girls in the face of this pandemic, issued a note on Saturday, a copy of which is available in Article 19.ma.

“Women and men are exposed differently to the health risk factors generated or accentuated by COVID-19. First of all, the over-representation of women in jobs related to health and care services overexposes them to the virus and substantially increases their risk of infection. Women account for 58% of medical staff and 67% of paramedical staff (nurses and technicians),” says HCP.

During its introduction, containment has had a major impact on women’s access to health services, the same source points out. While efforts are focused on reducing the spread of the virus, essential services such as access to sexual and reproductive health services have been disrupted, reports the same source.

Among households with women eligible for antenatal and postnatal services, 30% had to forego these services during the health lockdown, notes the HCP, noting that among households concerned with reproductive health, 34% did not access health services during this period.

This crisis also seems to have made members of female-headed households more vulnerable in terms of access to health care,” he says, noting that of all female-headed households with one or more members suffering from common diseases, nearly 47.5% did not access health services compared to 37.9% of male-headed households,” notes the HCP.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

11 July, 2020: Coronavirus in Morocco – a call for vigilance

According to the statement read by Said Amzazi at a press briefing after the meeting of the Council of Government, “the need to be more cautious and to respect the necessary health measures and precautions” is paramount. The Head of Government, Saâd Dine El Otmani, who chaired the Council, remains concerned about the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the country.

Thus, during the meeting, he said that, in parallel to the extension of the state of health emergency, “the legal framework allows to take all necessary measures to address any negative development of the pandemic,” MAP reports.

In his speech, El Otmani said he was “confident in the patriotic spirit and the high sense of duty of the Moroccan people to continue to face the pandemic and successfully fight against its socio-economic impacts,” the same source said.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 11, 2020: Here are Air Arabia’s special flights from Morocco (list)

After resuming its domestic flights in Morocco, Air Arabia is now focusing on international flights. The airline is preparing to operate special flights from Casablanca, Tangier, Fez and Nador to several European cities.

“Our special flights are on sale online and in agencies since this afternoon. Several routes from Casablanca, Tangier, Fez and Nador. Welcome on Board,” tweeted Laila Mechbal, Friday, July 10, 2020.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 10, 2020: Conditions for entering and leaving Morocco – more clarifications from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Following the publication of the Government’s communiqué on the conditions of access to the national territory for Moroccan nationals and foreigners residing in Morocco, requests for clarification were raised regarding certain practical arrangements for the implementation of this special arrangement.

In this respect, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad states that :

  1. For countries where it is not possible to carry out PCR or serological tests, contacts are underway with the authorities of these countries to find appropriate solutions as quickly as possible.
  2. For persons who intend to come to Morocco by car, via the ports of Sète (France) and Genoa (Italy), and for whom the validity of the test is less than the road travel time, an additional PCR test will be carried out onboard the boat.
  3. Due to the exceptional nature of the current operation, compensation between airlines is impossible due to legal and practical considerations. Consequently, only tickets acquired from Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia are valid.
  4. The flight schedule will not concern only countries traditionally served by direct routes from Morocco. It could also concern countries where there is a demand from Moroccans residing abroad or foreigners residing in Morocco.
  5. Children under 11 years of age are exempt from the PCR test.
  6. Moroccans residing abroad, foreigners residing or not residing in Morocco, and Moroccan students enrolled in universities abroad, will be able to leave the national territory by the same sea and air routes.

The Call Centre (+212.537.66.33.00) and the Crisis Unit (+212.666.89.11.05, +212.662.01.34.36, +212.537.67.6218), within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad remain available to answer questions from the interested public.

The Kingdom’s embassies and consulates, as well as Royal Air Maroc representations, are also mobilized for this purpose.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

10 July, 2020: Fear of deportation for migrants unable to renew their residence permits

The procedure for renewing residence permits seems to have become much more complicated in Morocco, with the documents requested becoming very difficult to provide. Migrants and associations fear that this administrative change could lead to a wave of expulsions.

Since he was summoned to the prefecture of Tangier a few days ago, Claude* is still concerned. After eight years on Moroccan territory, he has the impression that he is starting afresh. “This is my fourth renewal of my residence permit and it’s never been so complicated,” he says. “I’m afraid I’m going to find myself undocumented. Employment contracts, official leases, social security cards (CNSS), medical certificates and bank statements are not only more numerous than before, but also more difficult to obtain for immigrants, most of whom work in the informal economy and often live within the sub-Saharan community.

“It used to be much easier to renew your residence permit. The prefecture would just ask you for a lease and proof of nationality, like a passport for example. If you didn’t have a lease, you could bring a certificate of accommodation,” says Claude, who says he is “very worried” as his last work contract with a local NGO ended in mid-June. “I have a lease, the CNSS, a bank card, I pay taxes, but the prefecture told me it wasn’t enough,” grumbles the Cameroonian father. “My friends, my neighbours, we’re all afraid of being evicted, the police are making rounds in the neighbourhood every day, we wonder when it’s going to hit us. My skin is a bit lighter, so I sometimes manage to blend in with the Moroccans, but it’s not a long-term solution. And I know that my life can change from one minute to the next. »

Claude obtained his first Moroccan papers in 2014, benefiting, like 25,000 other migrants mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Syria, from a wave of regularisations decreed by King Mohammed VI as part of a National Immigration and Asylum Strategy (SNIA). A second phase was then launched in December 2016.

“These complications in renewing residence permits took many of us by surprise because in recent years, Morocco had accustomed us to a migration policy of openness unique on the continent vis-à-vis sub-Saharan Africans. I have the impression that we are regressing and that we are now moving towards a policy of expulsions,” fears Cynthia Magallanes-Gonzales, an American sociologist, a doctor in migration, from the University of Michigan, who has been working in Morocco for four years. It is difficult, however, to understand this turnaround in the situation. “The coronavirus certainly plays a role, since we can see that the authorities are now asking for medical certificates to check the health of migrants. An employment contract is also becoming compulsory as if the state wanted to make sure it didn’t have too many migrants to take care of in the midst of the pandemic. »

“One more bureaucracy so we don’t have to regulate.”

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) – Nador Section claims to have taken up four cases in recent days. “All these new documents were not required during the two phases of regularization. This is one more bureaucracy not to have to regularize, and a proof of the total failure of the SNIA,” They confirmed that “migrants whose documents have not been renewed are exposed to expulsion. This is particularly the case of an Ivorian living in Marrakech since 2011 where he set up his own company and invested in real estate. Summoned this week at the prefecture, he received a refusal to renew his residence permit and the obligation to leave Moroccan territory within 15 days after the reopening of international flights. “I was asked to sign this document but I refused and asked for more information and the reason for the refusal. No answer so far,” he said, fearing that he would “have to give up everything”.

According to another humanitarian actor interviewed by InfoMigrants but wishing to remain anonymous, the case reflects a real lack of interest by the government in migration issues. “We are in a change of policy since 2018 with the more frequent implementation of expulsions, whereas this was much less the case before. And during the last ministerial reshuffle in October 2019, immigration simply disappeared! We think that this portfolio is attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but we are not really sure. It is clearly no longer a priority. “

A new immigration law was also expected in recent months, but the work has come to a standstill because of the health crisis. This is enough to plunge migrants and associations a little more into uncertainty.

“I can’t afford this,” says Claude, the Cameroonian. “I have five children who count on me back home, including two albinos who have eye problems, very fragile skin and many food allergies. With the start of the new school year, I also have all the school fees to pay. He now plans to move on to other Moroccan cities if his next appointment at the prefecture doesn’t bear fruit. “We feel a lot of pressure in Tangier because it is a tourist city and also a departure point for migrants to Europe, so there are a lot of police and controls. In Casablanca and Rabat, undocumented migrants are more tolerated. On the other hand, they never manage to get a work contract. That would mean falling back into irregularity when I have everything I need to succeed here.

A ministerial source contacted by InfoMigrants confirmed that the procedures for renewing residence permits were changing and that the first migrants had begun to be summoned to the prefecture. However, the source refused to explain the reason for these changes or whether they were part of a new, stronger immigration policy.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 10, 2020: Borders Reopening: here are the destinations included from July 15 onwards

The national airline company, Royal Air Maroc, has just put online the program of flights that will be operational from July 15. These will mainly depart from Casablanca, but also from Rabat, Marrakech, Fez, Oujda and Tangier.

Following the Moroccan government’s press release authorizing air and sea travel between Morocco and the rest of the world under certain conditions, the national airline company, Royal Air Maroc, has just announced the launch of a new programme of special flights from 15 July 2020.

Flights which are, since this Friday, July 10, available for sale on the site of the airline company, in its various commercial agencies and by phone.

Open destinations

Casablanca airport will serve the following destinations on both the outward and return journeys:

France: Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux

Canada: Montreal

USA: New York

Belgium: Brussels

Netherlands: Amsterdam

Russia: Moscow

United Arab Emirates: Dubai

United Kingdom: London

Turkey: Istanbul

Senegal: Dakar

Ivory Coast: Abidjan

Mauritania: Nouakchott

Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga

Italy: Rome, Milan, Bologna

Saudi Arabia: Jeddah

Algeria: Algiers

Tunisia: Tunis

Four itineraries have also been added and will depart from other airports in the Kingdom. These are as follows:






This announcement follows a government Press release dated  July 08, 2020, which had announced the partial opening of the borders on the 15th of the same month, thus ending 123 days of closure. (link to the decision)

Travel conditions

The National Company would like to specify that, in accordance with the requirements set up by the Moroccan government, eligible passengers must meet the conditions required by the Moroccan authorities. Thus, flights to Morocco are open to all Moroccan citizens (tourists stranded abroad, students or residents abroad and their families) as well as to citizens of other nationalities residing in Morocco.

Flights out of Morocco are open to Moroccans residing abroad as well as to citizens of other nationalities. Students newly admitted to universities, businessmen and citizens who need to travel for medical treatment, as well as foreigners residing in Morocco, must have an exceptional authorisation issued by the prefecture of their province.

It is also mandatory for passengers to present, at the time of check-in, the results of the PCR test less than 48 hours old and the serological test. Children under 11 years of age are exempt from testing.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link and the link to the Royal Air Maroc website.

July 10, 2020: More than 240 MDH losses in three months for the press in Morocco

The losses of the Moroccan press sector due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus have reached nearly 243 million dirhams in three months due to the suspension of newspaper printing, said the National Press Council (CNP), which also refers to the “painful” measures affecting employees of several media establishments.

In a report on the repercussions of the pandemic on the Moroccan press sector, the CNP also notes the sharp fall in advertising revenue of 110% between 18 March and 18 May 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year.

The crisis caused by the pandemic, even if it is cyclical, will have harsh repercussions and exacerbate the structural crisis of the Moroccan press, the report says.

To cope with this situation, the CNP presents about thirty realistic and feasible measures to save the societal role of the Moroccan press through support for newspaper reading, the development of public subsidies, the organization of the advertising market and the review of training and qualification of human resources, in addition to incentives for the creation of a competitive media industry.

The report is based on a survey carried out between May 25 and June 4 on a representative random sample of 30 titles, as well as the consultation of operators in the sector including the Moroccan Federation of Newspaper Publishers, the Union of Advertisers of Morocco, the Union of Communication Consultancy Agencies, the distribution company Sapress, the printing plants of major newspapers in Morocco, in addition to taking into account the latest studies on newspaper reading and the economic situation of press companies and the advertising market.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 10, 2020: 99% of cases are asymptomatic

The Minister of Health, Khalid Ait Taleb, assured that the epidemic situation in the Kingdom remains stable in view of the low rate of deaths and critical cases. He noted on Friday at a consultation meeting chaired by the Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, that 99% of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

However, it is necessary to respect preventive measures, including the wearing of masks and social distancing, concluded the Minister of Health.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 10, 2020: Extension of the state of health emergency until 10 August

The state of health emergency will be extended for another month, according to government spokesman Saaid Amzazi. It will remain in place until August 10.

A government council meeting held July 9 discussed and adopted the decree on the extension of the state of health emergency.

P.S. Difference between the extension of the state of health emergency and the extension of the containment:

The state of health emergency was adopted in Morocco to better manage the pandemic. It consists of a set of rules that include restrictions on freedom of assembly (including restrictions on movement between cities and regions), freedom of assembly,  the opening of restaurants, mosques, closure of borders, etc. These measures can be alleviated or readopted depending on the sanitary situation. During this period it is necessary, for example, to wear a mask and maintain the physical distance necessary to halt the spread of the virus.

For containment/deconfinement, Morocco will continue to follow the distribution in zone 1 and 2 adopted on  June 25, 2020. (For more information on the distribution of cities by zones, please consult the following link.)

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 09, 2020: Adoption of a special process for opening air and sea borders 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, presented a statement on the government communication issued yesterday by his ministry, in which the minister stressed that the issue is not related to the opening of the Kingdom’s air, land and sea borders, but only to an exceptional process aimed at:

1. Allowing access to the national territory, from Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to Moroccan citizens, regardless of their status (tourists, students or residents abroad …) as well as to foreigners residing in the Kingdom and who are abroad for any reason, along with their families.

They need though to meet the following conditions:

  • To have Moroccan nationality or a residence permit in Morocco for foreigners,
  • Provide a negative screening test (PCR) of at least 48 hours prior to boarding, as well as a serological test (serological tests),
  • Upon arrival, anyone who shows symptoms of coronavirus will have to undergo additional tests

2. Authorize the departure from the Kingdom, from Wednesday, July 15, 2020, for Moroccan citizens residing abroad who are stranded in the national territory and who wish to return to their country of residence and foreigners stranded in Morocco.

3. The categories included in this process consist also of new students admitted to foreign academic institutions who want to continue their studies, as well as businessmen, citizens who have to travel for medical reasons abroad, and foreigners who reside in Morocco, are required to obtain an authorisation from the competent authorities.

This process will be carried out via air transit points mainly via Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia flights, as well as via sea transit points through the scheduling of ships exclusively from the ports of “Sète” in France and “Genoa” in Italy.

For further information, please consult (in Arabic) the following link.

July 07, 2020: Reopening of the mosques from July 15 at noon, the mosques will remain closed for Friday prayers

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Habbous has decided to gradually reopen mosques all over the country for the five daily prayers, starting on Wednesday 15 July at noon, while taking into account the local epidemiological situation and the health conditions that will be monitored by the local committees at the mosques’ gates.

The same source said that the mosques will remain closed for Friday prayers. This decision will be announced at a later date.

The Ministry said that “in view of the legitimate interest of not harming others, anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of the COVID-19 should not go to the mosque”.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Habbous stressed that mosque devotees must ensure that preventive measures are implemented, in particular :

  • Putting on masks and observing a distance in the row of one and a half meters until the conditions for consolidation of the rows are met.
  • Avoiding gathering inside the mosque, before and after prayer,
  • Avoiding handshakes and clutter, especially before and after prayer.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Habbous stressed the need to sterilize hands with a solution (available at the door of the mosque), measure the temperature (by an official), ensure the use of individual carpets while keeping ablution areas and washrooms closed.

For more information, please consult (in Arabic) the following link.

July 07, 2020: Spain-Frontex wants to help with border control if Morocco opens the border crossing

The Executive Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, assured that the European Border Agency (Frontex) is ready “to support the Spanish authorities in health and security policy” during transit, if the Iberian government requests it.

“From the information I have from Morocco, I know they take the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. We will make sure that we can operate in a safe environment,” said Leggeri, quoted by El Estrecho Digital.

If Rabat decides to open its borders, in this context, Frontex’s assistance to Spain will thus constitute a reinforcement of controls, passport checks and the organisation of the passage of passengers on ferries leaving or returning to Spain.

“We can also carry out security checks and access databases in the Schengen Information System (SIS), if Spain allows us to do so, of course”, stressed the Frontex representative.

This assistance is being offered at a time when, despite the pandemic of the new coronavirus, Spain is preparing to organise the passage operations of travellers mainly transiting from the port of Algeciras to North African countries, particularly Morocco. As Morocco has not yet announced the opening of these borders, the Andalusian local authorities have warned of a large number of MREs that could be blocked in the region.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 07, 2020: Quarantine and self isolation will be done at home for Moroccans that were stranded abroad

In a circular addressed on Monday to the regional health directors and the Council of the National Medical Order, Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb announced the new recommendations of the scientific and technical commission dedicated to COVID-19, which met a few days ago.

The major change lies in the conduct to be followed upon the arrival of Moroccans stranded abroad, Abdelkrim Meziane Bellefquih, head of the division of communicable diseases at the Ministry of Public Health, told Media 24.

Thus, if the first PCR test of the repatriated Moroccan is negative without any clinical signs, he will be voluntarily isolated at home for 14 days, the official added. He must also repeat the PCR test during this self-isolation. “The person concerned is asked to make a sworn statement and to download and activate the Wyqaytna application,” he explains.

And he adds that “if the test is negative but there are clinical signs that could evoke the disease or a notion of close contact with patients: confinement for 7 days (instead of 9) in a dedicated facility, at the end of which the PCR test is repeated”. “If this test is positive: hospitalisation. If it is negative, self-isolation at home for an additional 7 days”, explains the manager.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 06, 2020: Local Prison Tangier 1-All cases of coronavirus infection were recorded among new residents

The management of the local prison Tangier 1 said on Monday that all cases of coronavirus infection recorded in the prison were registered among the new residents. “All cases of infection registered in the local prison Tangier 1 have been registered among new inmates,” the prison said in a statement in response to information reported by some online news websites about new cases registered in the institution, saying that as part of precautionary measures taken to contain the spread of the epidemic, new inmates are completely isolated from the rest of the prison population and all are tested for the new coronavirus.

A total of 46 new inmates had been tested, 29 of whom were positive, before a second test revealed only 20 confirmed infections, the source added, noting that the infected inmates would be transferred to the public hospital to be subjected to the treatment protocol put in place by the health authorities.

The management of the local prison in Tangier 1 emphasizes, in this regard, that “allegations that instructions have been given not to subject the inmates of the institution to testing for the virus are false”, stating that the responsibility for conducting such tests lies with the competent health authority.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 06, 2020: Belgium will not open its borders to third countries as recommended by the EU, including Morocco

Belgium decided, at a select ministerial committee meeting, to maintain the ban on access to its territory for nationals of third countries recommended by the European Union on 30 June. The information was reported by the Belga agency.

“For the moment, Belgium does not accede to the EU Council’s request to also accept nationals from the list of 14 other countries,” Belga said, adding that an evaluation unit set up as part of the management of the pandemic will carry out a regular evaluation of this list, taking into account the epidemiological figures and the regions that would be (re)confined.

As a reminder, the Council of the European Union had published a list of 14 countries (15 if China is added to the list on the basis of reciprocity) for which it recommends to EU and Schengen Member States to reopen the EU’s external borders for non-essential travel as of 1 July. Morocco is also included in this list, which was drawn up on the basis of criteria relating in particular to the development of the pandemic, the overall management of the health crisis and economic considerations.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 05, 2020: Safi-Quarantine and strengthened control measures

A series of measures have been adopted to control the epidemiological situation in Safi province following the emergence of new positive cases of the new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), it has been learned from reliable sources.

As part of the monitoring of the evolution of the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in Safi province and following the meeting held Friday, the wali of the Marrakech – Safi region, Karim Kassi-Lahlou chaired, on Saturday at the headquarters of the prefecture of Safi province, a meeting attended by the governor of the province, regional and local security officials, the regional director and the provincial health delegate as well as local authorities.
The meeting, held late at night, was devoted to the examination of mechanisms that could control the spread of the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
During the meeting, the wali of the region urged all stakeholders to work together to serve the interests of the city and its population.

Thus, a number of measures were taken to control the situation, namely :

  • The total closure of the 3rd urban district under the jurisdiction of the city of Safi where the positive cases of COVID-19 are concentrated,
  • The closure and prohibition of movements to and from the City of Oceans except in specific cases
  • The immediate closure of the 18 conservation units, located in the city and the halt of transport of their employees.
  • It was also decided to close the commercial premises at 6:00 pm, close the cafés at 8:00 pm, ban access to the city’s beach and close two local markets “Assalam” and “Siha” in the third district.

It was also decided to step up the rate of sterilization and disinfection operations in the said district, particularly in the areas where the positive cases detected are concentrated, the sterilization and disinfection of public squares, parks and means of public transport, the stepping up of awareness and consciousness-raising campaigns to inform citizens of the measures undertaken, and the treatment of confirmed cases in hospitals in Safi city and other regions.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

July 05, 2020: Record economic decline under the effect of COVID-19

The Moroccan economy declined by 13.8% during the second quarter of 2020, reports a note on the economy from the High Commission for Planning (HCP). The decline is due to the secondary and tertiary sector as shown by the 14.4% drop in non-agricultural added value.

Agriculture, which employs the majority of the country’s working population, fell by 6.1% during this second quarter, which is suffering the repercussions of the containment and state of health emergency in force since mid-March.

The kingdom also shows a drop in foreign demand of about 18%, especially in the automotive and aeronautics sectors. In spite of the drop in agricultural production, the HCP does not, however, forecast a rise in food price inflation in the coming months.

Over the third quarter of 2020, the decline in value-added excluding agriculture should gradually ease, with the recovery of trade, transport and manufacturing activities, settling at -4.1%. Given a 5.9% drop in agricultural value-added, economic activity would decline by 4.6%, instead of +2.4% in the third quarter of 2020.

For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.