TORONTO — All direct passenger flights from Morocco to Canada have been suspended until Sept. 29.
The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by Transport Canada over the weekend and went into effect yesterday, Aug. 29. As such, all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco are now restricted, with only cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights permitted to operate.
“Canada has some of the strictest travel and border measures in the world and is prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to reopening its borders,” reads the official announcement.
Transport Canada cited an increase in COVID-19 positive test results in travellers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the past month as the reason behind the NOTAM.
Flights from Morocco that were already in transit at the time the announcement was made were allowed to proceed to Canada, with travellers on those flights taking a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Transport Canada also amended the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to include travellers to Canada from Morocco via an indirect route. With this change, which also went into effect on Aug. 29, passengers who depart Morocco to Canada, via an indirect route, are now required to obtain a valid COVID_19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than Morocco – before continuing their journey to Canada.
“Canada continues to closely monitor the situation, and will be working closely with the Government of Morocco and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe resumption of direct flights as soon as conditions permit,” said Transport Canada.
Restricting flights from countries of concern has been part of Canada’s approach to reopening borders. Earlier this month, Transport Canada announced that the India flight ban has been extended until at least Sept. 21.