Due to an increase in COVID-19 positive test results in travellers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the past month, Transport Canada has suspended all direct flights from that region of the world.
The flight ban, which was announced on Saturday (Aug. 28), starts at midnight Sunday morning (Aug. 29). The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) applies to all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco.
Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included.
To ensure aviation safety and to reduce operational interruptions, flights from Morocco that are already in transit at the time of the publication of the NOTAM will be allowed to proceed to Canada.
As an interim measure, until the NOTAM comes into effect, all travellers arriving on those flights will be required to take a test on arrival to Canada.
Transport Canada is also amending the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 molecular tests to include travellers to Canada from Morocco via an indirect route.
This means that passengers who depart Morocco to Canada, via an indirect route, will be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than Morocco – before continuing their journey to Canada.
The third-country testing requirement will also come into effect on August 29, 2021, at 00:01 EDT.
"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," the Government of Canada said in a statement. "Restricting flights from countries of concern is part of Canada’s general approach to the responsible and effective management of Canada’s border re-opening plan."
The notice adds to an already-existing ban on flights into Canada from India.
Last month, federal officials extended its direct flight restriction on India until Sept. 21, 2021. That particular NOTAM was first announced on April 22.