‘It’s frustrating!’ Morocco bans UK flights amid Covid surge leaving Britons stranded

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The Moroccon government is not allowing flights from the UK to land in the country, causing significant disruptions to travel firms and holidaymakers. Morocco has suspended flights from Britain due to surging cases of coronavirus.

Britain had more than 52,000 new Covid infections yesterday, compared with 6,000 in France and 2,500 in Spain.

Flights from Germany and the Netherlands to Morocco have also been suspended.

The flights were suspended from midnight on Wednesday, October 20, and the Moroccon government have told airlines they will remain so until further notice.

Thousands of Britons are stuck in Morocco, including a group of 23 women who were trekking the Atlas Mountains.

The women were supposed to fly back to the UK this week with easyJet, but the travel firm has not given them any information on how they will return home.

Jodie Salt, founder of Ladies Life Lounge, the coaching company that organised the trip, said: “A lot of our group are mums with young children who have commitments and want to get back to see their family.

“We just want a straight answer, even if that means we have to go home a little bit later.

“It would be useful for somebody to communicate with us.”

Last night, Moroccan authorities confirmed airlines will be allowed to operate scheduled flights back to the UK “as soon as possible”, easyJet said.

But it is not yet clear when this will be.

Due to the increase in cases in Britain, there are fears other countries could ban flights to and from the country too.

However, travel expert Paul Charles, of travel consultancy PC Agency, said: “I don’t think any countries are going to follow Morocco in the next few days because they want to protect their half-term revenues.

“But there is definitely talk among quite a few that they want reassurance from the UK Government around what they’re going to do to ensure Covid is managed in the coming weeks.”

Mr Charles added: “There’s no doubt that several ministers overseas are closely watching developments.”

But sources in Whitehall denied speculation that the phones at the Foreign Office had been ringing incessantly with countries asking about Britain’s Covid strategy.

However, Morocco’s decision to ban flights between the country and the UK will greatly impact tourism.

There are usually more than 50 commercial flights from London to Morocco each week, with seats for an estimated 6,500 passengers.

Many travellers have had to cancel their upcoming plans.

Simon Albert, founder of Charity Challenge, which arranges fundraising trips overseas, said that he had to tell 65 customers who planned to trek the Sahara that they could no longer go.

He explained: “These are people who were due to go last February, and then it moved to November, then February, then November, so they’ve already been moved three or four times.

“It’s frustrating. I’ve had staff on payroll, just moving, cancelling, rescheduling, postponing and rearranging for 18 months with no income and nothing positive.

“Ironically, being in the Sahara we would not see anyone. It would probably be one of the safest places in the world to be.”

On Tuesday, October 19, 223 deaths from Covid were recorded in the UK, making it the highest figure since March.

As for Morocco, latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that the country’s weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on October 14 stood at 10.4 per 100,000 people, compared with 445.5 per 100,000 people in the UK.

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