Royal Air Maroc Suspends Flights To Germany, Netherlands, And UK

The government of Morocco has decided to suspend all flights between the Northern African country and Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In a statement published on social media, the country’s largest airline, Royal Air Maroc, said that flights between Morocco the three countries mentioned above would be suspended from October 20th, starting from 23:59 (GMT+01:00).

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737
Morocco suspends flights to the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands from midnight. Photo: Getty Images

No mention was made as to how long the suspension would last or what conditions would need to be met before Rabat would allow travel to resume. The Moroccan government’s decision to suspend flights is believed to have been taken as a safety measure following a vast improvement in the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Morocco.

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UK infection rates are rising fast

In recent days the number of people in the UK infected with COVID-19 has continued to rise, with the number of new cases surpassing 40,000 a day for the last seven days. Yesterday the BBC reported 43,738 new infections, and the number of people being hospitalized rose by 10% to 7,749. While these numbers might sound alarming given the fact that such a large percentage of the UK has received two doses of the vaccine, the good news is that the number of people dying from COVID-19 is well below last winter’s peak.

With the number of cases rising, health experts in the UK are calling for some COVID-19 restrictions to be immediately reintroduced to help the National Health Service (NHS) avoid a winter crisis. The NHS Confederation says the government needs to have a plan B to combat the rise in infections and is asking for mandatory face masks in crowded or enclosed spaces.

The pleas by health officials appear to be falling on deaf ears, with a Downing Street spokesperson saying:

“The government will continue to monitor the latest figures for the virus, but hospital admissions and deaths are still substantially lower than they were earlier in the year. The important thing is the fact that our vaccination program has been successful in breaking the link between cases and hospitalizations and deaths,” he adds.“Our focus remains on ensuring we get boosters out to those who are eligible.”

Germany reported 17,000 new cases in a single day

The number of reported cases in Germany has also risen sharply over the last few weeks, with more than 17,000 new cases reported in one day. Today the number of people infected with the coronavirus stands at 80.4 infections per 100,000 people. The previous day it was 75.1 per 100,000, and a week earlier, 65.4 per 100,000.

RAM Boeing 737-800
Morocco is afraid of rising COVID-19 infections in Europe. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the number of people in hospitals with COVID-19 has risen nearly 60% since the beginning of October. As the numbers climb, the Dutch health system is starting to look strained, with two hospitals canceling non-essential operations. When speaking with Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad, one hospital manager said:

“We are holding our breath a bit because we do not know what the effect of COVID-19 will be in combination with the flu wave. Things could still turn out fine, but in the past, rising deaths have followed spiking infection numbers.”

Other countries could follow Morocco’s lead

The proactive measures taken by Morocco are a part of the country’s efforts to control the epidemiological situation and follow a ban on flights to and from Russia, which were imposed as its COVID-19 numbers increased.

Morocco recently banned flights to and from Russia. Photo: Getty Images

The move by Morocco to ban flights will have many fully vaccinated people up in arms as they cancel their Moroccan vacations. If the numbers of infected people continue to go up, don’t be surprised if other countries follow Morocco’s lead.

What do you think about Morocco banning flights from the Netherlands, UK, and Germany? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.