On April 8, the Ministry of Health implemented a extent temporary for access to the national territory by sea. It consists of the possibility of presenting the vaccination card EITHER a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old.
For now, this measure only affects the points of entry to the sea, pending “the adoption of a uniform health protocol for access to the national territory.” Therefore, it does not yet apply to airports, where travelers arriving in Morocco must present a vaccination pass. Eastern Time a PCR test.
Compliance with the protocol for access to the national territory is still pending for tour operators, but also for tourists and Moroccans residing abroad (MRE) who wish to travel to Morocco without having to meet this double condition.
Contacted by Médias24, experts and members of the scientific and technical commissions (against Covid-19 and vaccination) recommend accelerating the relaxation of the entry conditions in Morocco, harmonizing the established measures.
“Most likely we will have relief in the next few days”
Professor Saïd Moutaouakil, member of the Scientific and Technical Committee against Covid-19, recalls that “the resumption of maritime traffic is intended to give a commercial boost. Therefore, the process has been accelerated to allow more fluid exchanges”, especially because “the health situation is much more reassuring”.
Professor Moutaouakil believes that Morocco “very likely to experience relief in the next few days”. He said that he was in favor of extending the established relief for maritime passengers, to “harmonize it with the airways.” A relaxation that, according to him, should be general and not only concerning the countries classified in the green zone. And this, as long as there is no dangerous variant in circulation.
“The Omicron ‘XE’ subvariant It gives decision makers pause. However, most likely, and in the next few days, we will harmonize things”, says Professor Moutaouakil.
Vaccination card or PCR test: not both at the same time
Reached by Médias24, Dr. Saïd Afif, member of the Scientific and Technical Committee for Vaccination, considers it necessaryaccelerate harmonization of health conditions for all travellers, regardless of point of entry.
“From a purely scientific point of view, the difference between the sanitary protocol for entry by sea and the one applied at airports makes no sense. We always favor respect for the health aspect. Our situation (in Morocco, editor’s note), as well other countries classified in the green zoneallows the same measures to be adopted, namely, the presentation of a negative PCR test for people who do not have a vaccination card, and the presentation of a vaccination card for those who do, but not both at the same timehe continues.
“You have to think in the short term, especially on the occasion of Eid that will encourage the MRE to return to Morocco. Some large families, although vaccinated, will be forced to pay large sums of money for PCR tests. you have to think about make your travels easier. If there is something new on the health front, the authorities will adapt,” adds Dr. Afif.
The same story with Professor Jaâfar Heikel, epidemiologist, infectious disease specialist and health economist. “If the health situation changes in the coming months, public policies will adapt. “But at the moment, he assures him, “the Moroccan epidemiological data (frequency, severity, hospitalized, resuscitations, etc.) are in the green”.
“These indicators have never been better than in March 2020. They are even excellent. In addition, 80% of the population received a primary vaccine, 17% received the third dose, and 1.2 million people became infected. We have a fairly comfortable and sufficiently protective herd immunity,” says Professor Heikel.
The latter concludes: “We must always be careful and vigilant to ensure epidemiological surveillance. But this does not require taking excessive restrictive measures; proportionality must be guaranteed. Many people run the risk of not coming to Morocco due to the high price of PCR tests in Europe, for example, or due to the limitation of doing so 48 hours before departure. Therefore, these people run the risk of changing the destination of their vacation. However, given the current state of health, it is not necessary to require both the negative PCR test and the vaccination card to come to Morocco. A relaxation in this sense is justified on a health level, but also on an economic and psychological level, the latter concerning above all the citizens. »