Morocco is set to ban visitors from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands amid a surge in coronavirus case numbers across the three nations. The new travel ban comes into effect at midnight tonight and will last "until further notice."

The travel ban comes as the UK records some of the highest new coronavirus case numbers in the world, according to statistics from Oxford's Our World in Data—with about 50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. The UK's infection rates outstrips Morocco where an average of 473 new cases a day are recorded.

Blue buildings cover the hillside of Chefchaouen
Morocco is recording much lower coronavirus case numbers than the UK, Germany and the Netherlands ©Dinozzzaver/Shutterstock

The timing of the travel ban coincides with the onset of a peak travel season for UK holidaymakers. Morocco is hugely popular as a family holiday and winter sun destination and the ban comes less than one week before schools in the UK break for half-term.

Royal Air Maroc, Morocco's national carrier, confirmed on Twitter that it would allow passengers to change flights from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, free of charge to the same destination or another, before December 15. The BBC reports that Ryanair, EasyJet, British Airways and TUI have all cancelled flights from the UK to Morocco but these airlines have yet to set out guidelines for stranded passengers or those with upcoming flights booked to Morocco.

Morocco is still open to visitors from countries with a relatively good epidemiological situation. It currently categorizes countries based on their COVID-19 risk into A and B-list groups. Travelers from A-list countries, including the United States, are required to present proof of vaccination (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm, Sputnik, Sinovac or Johnson & Johnson) to enter, although people who cannot be vaccinated, such as children or those with medical conditions, can present a negative COVID-19 test result instead.

Travelers coming from B-list countries are required to present proof of vaccination and a negative test result. Unvaccinated B-list arrivals must complete a 10-day quarantine in a government-designated hotel and take two COVID-19 tests.

A state of emergency is in effect in Morocco until at least October 31 and a nationwide curfew applies from 11pm until 5am. For more information on traveling to Morocco during the pandemic, see Visit Morocco.

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