Rabat – Morocco on Friday banned entry to travellers from seven southern African countries to block the spread of the new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, the official MAP news agency reported.
“Moroccan authorities have decided to ban entry” to nationals of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe “as well as to passengers coming from or having transited through these countries”, it said, citing the foreign ministry.
Markets plunged and governments around the world rushed Friday to halt the spread of the B.1.1.529 strain, more infectious than the highly contagious Delta and possibly more resistant to vaccines.
Several countries in Europe, already struggling with a surge in coronavirus cases, have already suspended flights from southern Africa.
Morocco had already on Thursday evening suspended flights to and from France as infections there spiked.
France hosts the world’s largest Moroccan expatriate community of more than one million people.
Picture: Getty Images