Is it safe travel to Morocco? The African country is a great option to make a getaway from USA. You can access both by plane for little money, thanks to the number of cheap flights that you will find to some of its cities. Surely you have already imagined visiting cities as beautiful as Marrakech, Ouarzazate, or Fez, some corner of the Sahara desert, or a fortified city as impressive as Ait Ben Haddou, a wonderful fortified city where films such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ have been shot. ‘. However, you may be concerned about safety when traveling to Morocco. For this reason, at IATI Seguros we want to give you all the information so that you can assess whether it is safe travel to morocco.
In addition, due to the situation that this pandemic has created, we will also talk to you about whether you can travel to Morocco now and the state of the country due to COVID-19. Keep reading and discover everything about safety in Morocco.
What does the USA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation say about whether it is safe travel to Morocco?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USA indicates on its page about Morocco that it is necessary to travel with caution. If you go into the section about “security”, categorize as risk areas that should be avoided: military areas, unmarked desert areas, and those close to the border with Algeria. Medium-risk areas are those close to the Ketama area and desert or sparsely populated rural areas. They point out that if you are going to visit this type of place, it is best to do it during the day, in a group, in more than one car, and, if possible, in an SUV.
On the other hand, as general warnings, the Ministry points out that, since 2014, Morocco may be the object of a serious terrorist threat. Even so, the country’s government reinforced that same year the protection of locals and tourists in places such as airports, places of tourist interest, ports, or borders.
Except for those risk areas indicated, the MAEC adds that attention must be paid to theft due to carelessness or pulling in the most important cities. You also have to be careful with the accidental company of strangers and resort to official guides.
Regarding health, it is indicated that the sanitary conditions are more or less correct since there are private clinics with good facilities and qualified personnel. But, once outside the main cities, the facilities can become somewhat precarious. Basic hygiene precautions should also be followed, especially regarding food and drink.
Finally, the MAEC considers it important to ” hire reliable travel insurance at origin that includes health care and repatriation, which, in its case, can be very expensive.” All IATI insurance covers both cases. It is safe travel to Morocco considering the current environment.
But then is it safe travel to Morocco?
Did you know that more than 13 million travelers visited Morocco in 2019? Of these, 2 million came from USA. Given its proximity to our country, its great prices and its undeniable appeal, it is normal that many are encouraged to travel with Morocco. In addition, a large number of them repeat over the years, since they rarely leave the African country disappointed, the safest in North Africa.
The picaresque in Morocco indeed exists, but tourism represents almost 10% of Moroccan GDP, so the government tries to protect this important variable of its economy. The penalties for assaulting or robbing a tourist are quite harsh and in most tourist areas there are always a large number of plainclothes policemen.
Thus, it is safe travel to Morocco, because by acting ahead, being alert and following basic precautions, it is rare that crimes against tourists to occur. Later we will alert you to the most frequent scams and frauds in Morocco so that you do not have any problems. You’ll also find plenty of travel tips for travelers.
As for sanitary conditions, although it is not mandatory to take any vaccinations, it never hurts to go to a doctor to inform you of the necessary precautions and tell you what medicines you should include in your medicine cabinet. Furthermore, since quality health care is given in private hospitals, it is advisable to have good travel insurance with medical coverage that covers any mishap you may have. In summary, it is safe travel to Morocco, but we encourage you to read the recommendations that we give you below so that you can enjoy your getaway without problems.
Is it safe travel to Morocco despite the coronavirus? Can you travel to Morocco now?
After a long period of closure due to the Omicron variant, you can travel to Morocco from February 7, 2022, by air. The land borders through Ceuta and Melilla remain closed, although it seems that they will open very soon. USA maritime connections with Morocco were reestablished in April 2022.
We already anticipate that there are not many of you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 (they must have passed at least 14 days from the last dose). You will have to show your vaccination certificate, fill out a form and have a PCR done 48 hours before boarding.
Keep in mind that Moroccan nationals and residents in the country need to have a booster dose to leave. Those who only have 2 doses or the Janssen dose (as long as less than 4 months have passed) and have passed the covid less than 28 days ago, can travel to Morocco, but they must show a positive result plus a certificate of recovery or a subsequent negative result.
If you are thinking of traveling to Morocco now with children, you should know that children under 6 years of age are exempt from all this, while children between 6 and 18 years of age will need to undergo the PCR.
On the other hand, it seems that the obligation to take a PCR before traveling could soon be eliminated. This requirement has been eliminated at its maritime borders. If this changes, you will be among the first to know. Now safe travel to Morocco because the situation in Corona is under control.
What is the situation of COVID-19 in Morocco?
Fortunately, the 4th wave caused by Ómicron is giving way in Morocco and, therefore, the country is opening up to the world again. The Moroccan government has declared the end of this new wave. We will have to follow its evolution after the Ramadan festivities.
At this time you will not have much problem when it comes to sightseeing in Morocco, since most hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are open. Even so, you should bear in mind that there are some measures to control the pandemic, especially related to capacity restrictions, which will not affect you too much either.
Since October 21, the obligation to present the vaccination certificate is imposed for those over 12 years of age for:
- Access to all public administrations.
- Entry into hotels, restaurants, cafes, closed spaces, shops, gyms and hammams.
On the other hand, Morocco is the first African country to have many people vaccinated. It began its immunization campaign in January 2020 and now more than 63.3% of the population is vaccinated with the full schedule. Children are already being vaccinated and more than 6.2 million third doses have been given.
Does all this mean that it is safe travel to Morocco now? Well, unfortunately, and as in almost everyone, not 100%, since there is a risk of contagion. The new cases of coronavirus in Morocco slightly exceed 50 per day, but it is still necessary to be careful, follow national protocols, avoid crowds, and, of course, travel with a policy for Morocco that responds well in case of contracting the disease.
Information about the climate, possible earthquakes and storms in Morocco
Keep in mind that despite being a relatively small country compared to neighbors such as Algeria or Mauritania, it is extensive and mountainous enough to have several very different climatologies from north to south. We can speak of exactly four different climates within the same country. They are the following:
Information about the climate in the different regions of Morocco
- Mediterranean climate: it occurs mainly in the northern coastal areas, occupying the strip between Tangier and Oujda and the so-called Rif mountains. This area is characterized by a climate similar to that of the nearby American coasts, with hot and dry summers and humid and not too extreme winters. Precisely the Rif is the wettest area in Morocco, with abundant rainfall between November and February.
- Oceanic climate: it occurs on the Atlantic slope, along the entire coast that joins the north of the country with its neighbor to the south, Mauritania. The presence of the ocean softens temperature changes and brings precipitation, especially in the spring and winter months.
- Continental climate: in interior provinces such as Beni Mellal the climate is continental. This means that temperatures are much higher in summer and winter temperatures can drop below 0ºC at night. It is a climate similar to the inland areas of the USA, with quite notable thermal variations between winter and summer and with little rainfall. This climate affects cities such as Beni Mellal or Marrakech, and also the northern area of the Atlas, the mountain range that splits the country in two and separates the northern area from the southern area, where the Sahara desert begins.
- Desert climate: the Atlas mountains are the barrier that crosses the Sahara desert, in which we already find a semi-desert climate with extreme conditions in summer, in which temperatures easily exceed 50ºC. The temperature experiences sudden drops at night and rainfall are very scarce, barely reaching 100mm per year.
Morocco’s climate is very much helpful for safe travel to morocco.
Torrential rains and floods in Morocco
Keep in mind that flash floods can occur in Morocco during the rainy season. There can be torrential rains that overflow rivers and affect circulation and infrastructure, so we must be aware of and informed of these risks before starting our trip.
The last major floods occurred in November 2014, causing around 80 deaths in cities such as Guelmin, Chtouka Ait Baha, or Taroudant and hundreds of emergency rescues.
Seismic Activity – Earthquakes in Morocco
Between Morocco and USA, another difference cannot be seen with the open eye, a fault in which two large tectonic plates collide, the Eurasian Plate and the African plate. As you probably already know, earthquakes occur when large plates like these collide.
They do it almost daily, although it is small tremors that are almost imperceptible.
However, this fault is active and every so often it produces some earthquakes that cause quite significant damage. In Morocco, earthquakes occur in the Alboran Seacoast area, generally in the strip that joins the American cities of Ceuta and Melilla. It is an area of high seismic activity, normally of very low intensity, although with exceptions such as the one in January 2016, when a magnitude 6.3 tremor occurred just 60 kilometers north of Alhucemas, which caused one death. on Moroccan territory.
Despite the exceptionality of these tremors, in Morocco, there have been some earthquakes of great intensity that have been catastrophic. Without a doubt, the harshest example is that of February 2004, which hit the same area of Alhucemas, causing more than 600 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Also in 1960, a brutal earthquake devastated the city of Agadir leaving more than 12,000 dead.
It is an unpredictable risk that, as we can see, can be devastating, but they are still isolated tragedies. We can say, then, that the seismic activity in Morocco is not a problem that should worry us too much.
Let us now talk about other much more important and more frequent risks, those related to security and personal protection in Morocco. Information on this subject is essential to travel to a neighboring country. Let’s see where we should not go and what are the recommendations to avoid leaving Morocco scalded. Unless a natural disaster strikes safe travel to morocco always.
Traveling alone in Morocco, is it safe?
Do you want to travel to Morocco alone or do you want to wait no longer for someone to accompany you? Go ahead! Traveling alone to an African country is safe, yes, you will have to arm yourself with patience and be careful. It’s safe travel to morocco alone.
Morocco is a Muslim country and women tend to be quite covered. This does not mean that you have to do it too, but it is true that if you cover your shoulders and knees, you will feel less watched. It is also quite normal for a man to address you on the street, be insistent or look at you more than usual, but in these cases, you just have to avoid paying attention to him or, if you feel uncomfortable, be blunt.
Finally, as walking through the medinas at night can be unsafe, whether you are a man or a woman, you may feel more comfortable booking a hotel on the main street or simply avoiding going out at that time.
Some tips to safe travel to morocco
As you can see, it is safe to travel to Morocco now, but it never hurts to follow some recommendations from other travelers like these:
- Always drink bottled water, avoid the consumption of salads and wash the fruits that you are going to eat well. It is also advisable to carry anti-diarrheal pills.
- It is safe travel to Morocco and it is advisable to try the local food, but avoid street stalls and eat in restaurants. Food poisoning is common.
- If you travel by car, make sure it is insured with the maximum coverage possible.
- Drive very carefully. The traffic is quite chaotic and, even on the highways, it is normal for all kinds of vehicles, people, and animals to suddenly cross your path.
- In the case of planning to practice risky sports, it is essential to have travel insurance that covers the costs of the rescue.
- Avoid large gatherings of people.
- It is advisable to ask permission from a law enforcement officer before photographing public buildings. If you want to take photos of people, ask their permission beforehand because many people in Morocco don’t take it well.
- Be respectful of religion.
- Don’t show affection in public. Under current legislation, homosexual relationships can be prosecuted through criminal channels.
More tips for traveling to Morocco safely
- Be discreet. Dress discreetly and do not constantly display high-value electronic devices or cameras.
- If you have any problem on your trip to Morocco, report it to the country’s authorities and keep all the documentation. Notify it at the American Consulate or Embassy.
- You can only travel with a drone if you have prior authorization.
- Even in most tourist areas, avoid walking through the medinas at night. Although nothing usually happens during the day, the poor lighting at night makes the assaults somewhat more frequent.
- You can do this by searching forums or asking before leaving the hotel.
- Don’t even think about touching drugs, possession is severely punished.
- As we always say, it is safe travel to Morocco, but common sense is key. Follow the precautions you would take on any other trip. Enjoy your trip consistently.
Scams or scams in Morocco
As we have indicated, it is safe travel to Morocco, but keep in mind that some people will try to scam you. For example, they will ask you for money to guide you to your hotel or to get you out of the medina. Therefore, if someone offers to guide you, make it clear from the beginning that you are not going to pay them anything or agree on a price beforehand.
Another common scam is that they tell you that the monument you are going to visit is closed to take you to a place they want or an event for which you end up paying a lot of money. The same can happen to you when they tell you that “there are no more buses”. We are not telling you not to trust anyone, but these scams are common and you should be aware of them.
When getting into a taxi, ask to have the meter put on or agree on the price with the driver. Try to inform yourself in advance of the approximate price of the journey or take the GPS to see that it is not giving you many laps.
Regarding purchases, in general, it is convenient to know the prices of the most common products (water, tea, a plate of food…) to know if you are being scammed or not. Always check the change they give you. Do you plan to buy souvenirs of a certain value such as Berber jewelry? Be very careful because it is not uncommon for them to be faked.
If you have any problems, you can go to the tourist brigade and they will help you in any way possible. In the case of Marrakech, where most of these problems occur, it is located in the famous Jamaa el Fna square.
What is the best time to travel to Morocco?
Morocco has a privileged climate practically all year round due to its geographical location. However, the best time to visit the country is spring, when temperatures are milder and its landscapes are more beautiful. Autumn is also a good season to take a trip to Morocco. The spring season is very much friendly for safe travel to Morocco.
During the summer, the most recommended area is the coast, where the climate is less hot than in the rest of the country. Of course, many Moroccan beaches on the Atlantic coast and the Strait are open seas, with strong currents, so you should be careful. Waters like those of Essaouira are ideal for surfing. Trekking fans often take advantage of this season to walk through the north of the country or the Atlas Mountains.
If you choose spring or summer to go to Morocco, you must take into account when Ramadan is celebrated. During this festivity, many Moroccans take the opportunity to enjoy their vacations during this period. In addition, it is normal to find many establishments closed during the day. The country on this date indeed has a special charm at night, especially in the souks.
Visiting Morocco in winter will allow you to enjoy the ski season, which usually takes place between December and March. You can take advantage of the colder weather to move around the south of the country and the desert regions. Safe travel to Morocco for you in whatever season you travel.
Travel Recommendations for safe travel to Morocco Morocco
Any travel schedule to Morocco must be done taking into account the evolution of the pandemic situation, the health requirements to access the country and the possible limitations in the mobility conditions that the Moroccan authorities may establish. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been several closures of Morocco’s air and sea connections with the outside by decision of the Moroccan authorities, which have made it impossible or greatly difficult to return to USA for an unforeseeable time.
The Moroccan authorities announced the resumption of February 7 of passenger air transport to Morocco. The requirements to be able to enter the country by air from that date are the following:
-Fill out a health form (which can be completed in advance on the website www.onda.ma/form.php or once on the plane, where it will be distributed), which includes the necessary data for the location of the traveler in the ten days after the trip.
-Present a vaccination certificate: the certificates that are valid in the country of issue will be valid to enter Morocco.
-Present the negative result of a PCR test carried out a maximum of 48 before boarding. It is not allowed to enter with an antigen test.
Children under 6 years of age will not be subject to any health requirements for entry into the country.
For minors between 6 and 18 years old, it will be required to present a PCR test with a negative result less than 48 hours before boarding.
Upon arrival at the airport, the authorities may randomly carry out antigen tests on travelers.
These authorities may also carry out additional tests within 48 hours of arrival in the national territory in hotels or other places of residence for tourists.
If the result of the tests carried out once in Morocco is positive, the person must be confined to their place of residence, being subject to close monitoring by these authorities. If her health condition is serious, she will be transferred to a hospital to receive timely treatment.
Maritime connections between USA and Morocco in both directions have been resumed as of April 12 for passengers without a vehicle. As of April 18, the transit of passengers with a vehicle is allowed on the different maritime lines between Morocco and USA in both directions.
The health requirements for entering Morocco by sea are:
-Complete a health card that will be distributed onboard the boat
-Have a COVID vaccination certificate that meets the requirements of the country of origin. Residents of Morocco must have a valid vaccination certificate (“passport vaccinal”) according to the Moroccan national vaccination protocol.
As an alternative to the vaccination certificate, those passengers who have a negative result of a PCR test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding may enter the territory of Morocco by sea. Antigen tests are not allowed.
The land borders through Ceuta and Melilla remain closed.
People and entities who, mainly for development aid reasons, wish to cross Moroccan territory to a third country are reminded that they should consult the travel recommendations of the country to which they are going. Transit by land to Mauritania from Morocco is not recommended. It is important to comply with travel requirements for safe travel to Morocco.
Scrupulous compliance with Moroccan regulations is recommended. Likewise, in the case of humanitarian caravans, it is recommended to consult the recommendations collected in this regard on the website of the AECID in Morocco. :
Morocco travel insurance
As you can see, traveling to Morocco is safe, but the sanitary conditions are not similar to those in Europe, especially in rural areas. For this reason, now more than ever it is essential to travel with medical insurance that offers you the quality care you need. This is a perfect policy for travelers from Toledo since it will cover those medical expenses that we can all incur, such as a sprained ankle walking around Marrakech or mild indigestion from eating something out of the ordinary in the Jemaa el Fna square, but also those derived from the practice of adventure sports such as a buggy ride through the desert or hiking in the Atlas.
Also read: 12 Things You Should know Before Your Travel To South Africa
Of course, we will also be there for you in case you are infected with coronavirus and need to be hospitalized, have a PCR prescribed by a specialist at your destination, or quarantine. With the IATI Backpacker you will have up to 500,000 euro coverage of medical expenses, but also support 24 hours a day if you have to be repatriated or return home early due to hospitalization or the death of a family member, among other accidents. You can safely travel to Morocco when you have travel insurance.