LONDON: Britons stuck in Morocco have no idea how they will get back to the UK after the North African kingdom banned flights from Britain and airlines ceased operating the route.
Morocco banned travelers to and from the UK on Wednesday in response to rapidly rising coronavirus disease cases in Britain.
The UK had more than 52,000 new infections on Thursday, compared with 6,000 in France and 2,500 in Spain.
Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed that Morocco’s weekly rate of reported COVID-19 cases on Oct. 14 stood at just 10.4 per 100,000 people. The current rate in the UK is 445.5 per 100,000 people.
The UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice to reflect the ban, calling it a “suspension for an unspecified period.”
It added: “Travelers affected by flight cancelations should contact their airline or tour operator for advice on alternative routes via third countries (eg France, Spain) where flights are operating as normal.”
EasyJet, one of Europe’s largest air carriers, said on Thursday that it had received confirmation from Moroccan authorities that airlines would be allowed to operate scheduled flights back to the UK to take people home. A spokeswoman said that customers would be contacted “as soon as possible.”
However, some took to Twitter to complain that they had been told to come to the airport by easyJet, only to find out that their repatriation flight had been canceled.
It is not yet clear exactly how many Brits are stuck in Morocco, but there are usually more than 50 commercial flights from London to the kingdom each week, with seats for an estimated 6,500 passengers.
Morocco is a popular destination for British travelers, especially during the colder months, where the North African country’s warmer climate provides a much-needed respite from the British weather.
Morocco has also banned flights to and from Germany and the Netherlands, because of their high COVID-19 caseloads.