Covid-19. Mr. Nasser Bourita: 30 Flights Programmed between 21 and 27 June for Repatriation of 4,644 Moroccans Stranded in 17 Countries
During the oral questions session at the House of Representatives, Mr. Bourita stated that these flights will involve Turkey, Serbia, Mauritania, Tunisia, Hungary, Austria, the United Arab Emirates, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, the Netherlands, Senegal, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The number of beneficiaries will rise to 4,644 after 27 June, compared to 3,151 repatriated persons since the start of the operation on 15 May, i.e. an increase of 73 pc. From June 28, the operation will include Germany, Egypt, the Gulf countries and Turkey, as well as other countries, he said, expecting the repatriation of a total of 7,800 Moroccan nationals.
With regard to Asian and Latin American countries, "consideration is being given" to setting up a regional hub to bring together Moroccan nationals, pending the organization of flights to Morocco, Mr. Bourita stressed.
In addition, he affirmed that the planes chartered by foreign countries, such as Canada or the United States, for the repatriation of their citizens stranded in Morocco, will also be used to repatriate Moroccans stranded in these countries.
Mr. Bourita noted that the period of preparation for the repatriation process of Moroccans stranded abroad illustrates a serious interaction and stems from a deep awareness of the issues related to its implementation, highlighting the difficulties encountered by citizens stranded in foreign countries during this pandemic.
The Minister noted that, following the launch of the third phase of gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions, the repatriation operation has reached its maximum level, noting that efforts will be made to accelerate the rate of operations, mainly through the exploitation of 100% of the plane's occupancy capacity after consultation with the Ministry of Health and Royal Air Maroc (RAM), which will allow the repatriation rate to be increased by almost 50%.
The Minister also reviewed the stages of the process, stressing that the implementation of the repatriation operation took place as soon as the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom was brought under control and the health system was strengthened. Since May 15, 3,157 citizens have benefited from this process.
Mr. Bourita said that these operations were carried out according to clear specifications and a strict protocol. He explained that they were limited to citizens not residing abroad and who left the Kingdom by means of a short-stay visa, for a period not exceeding 90 days, for tourist, professional, medical or family reasons, adding that the repatriation process is linked to the available material and logistical capacities, according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation in Morocco, especially since these operations are the responsibility of the State.
The Minister affirmed that citizens in fragile situations are prioritized (state of health, material or social fragility…), adding that the protocol for citizens' return, established with the participation of all national stakeholders, guaranteed, up to now, the return of citizens in a safe atmosphere and without any negative repercussions on the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom.