| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Spain respects Morocco’s restriction on sea travel

Spain’s government spokeswoman said on Tuesday that they respect Morocco’s decision to ban sea travel between the two countries during the summer as it was based on health criteria.

Between 3 million and 3.5 million Moroccans living in Europe usually cross sea borders each summer, many of them through southern ports from Spain, and Spanish authorities take measures to help them.

The summer exodus did not happen last year because of restrictions imposed to contain theCOVID-19 pandemic, and Morocco has said it would be the same this year.

“We are living a situation very similar to last year’s, with even a higher incidence, and we all agree the more convenient was to suspend the ‘Straits crossing’ operation,” spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero told reporters.

The Moroccan foreign ministry said on Sunday the country will reopen international passenger traffic through airports and ports for inoculated people or those with a negative PCR test result.

However, Rabat decided to keep sea links with Spanish ports closed to passenger traffic. Moroccans living in Europe will be able to cross via French and Italian ports instead, like last year.

  • Reuters