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Tourists from a number of European countries were unable to leave after flights were suspended to many European countries and also to China and Algeria on Saturday. French nationals were allowed to leave on repatriation flights, according to the French Foreign Ministry.

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Tourists were stranded in Morocco on Saturday after the kingdom announced strict border restrictions in response to the coronavirus, leaving travellers stuck at borders, ports and airports.

“We are lost!” said David, an Italian tourist waiting at the closed border with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco.

Morocco suspended air, sea and land links with European countries and Algeria on Friday, as well as taking measures to confine citizens to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Flights to and from Algeria, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Italy were suspended “until further notice”, while sea links for passengers and Moroccos land borders with Ceuta and a second Spanish enclave, Melilla, were closed.

But Frances Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced Saturday that Rabat had agreed to allow repatriation flights for French nationals.

The first flights back to France took off earlier the same day, he said.

The closure of the only land border between Africa and the European Union at Cueta and Melilla saw Spaniards rushing to leave on Thursday evening, as Moroccan day workers hastily returned in the opposite direction.

The land borders are busiest in summer, but the traffic never ordinarily stops flowing. Now though a Moroccan police roadblock bars the road towards the border with Cueta.

Who will pay?

David said he tried to go to Spain because links with Italy, a hotspot of the disease, are suspended.

After arriving in Morocco for a motorcycle tour with his partner earlier this month, the 33-year-old Italian was stuck at a service station outside Cueta.

The border at Cueta, like that at Melilla, was reopened Friday only for Spaniards. Except for a few travellers, the normally busy border post near the Moroccan town of Fnideq was deserted.

At the service station, camper vans bearing various European license plates were parked waiting.

“We dont know how long this will last, no one has told us anything,” said Rene, a 71-Read More – Source

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