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Morocco bans UK flights due to rising coronavirus rates

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Morocco is banning flights to and from the UK due to rising coronavirus case rates.

Airlines cancelled several flights between the countries on Wednesday ahead of the suspension coming into effect at 11.59pm.

Latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show that the North African nation’s weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on October 14 stood at just 10.4 per 100,000 people.

The current rate in the UK is 445.5 per 100,000 people.

EasyJet cancelled two flights from Gatwick and Manchester to Marrakech on Wednesday, but will operate flights in the opposite direction to bring passengers back to the UK before the ban comes into force.

The airline said in a statement: “We are still awaiting clarity from the Moroccan authorities as to whether we are permitted to operate repatriation flights beyond midnight today.”

British Airways cancelled flights between Heathrow and Marrakech, which were due to resume on Thursday after being suspended due to the pandemic.

The flight ban will affect families in England and Wales who booked half-term holidays in Morocco for next week.

Morocco’s National Office of Airports said the policy will remain in place “until further notice”.

The country is also banning flights to and from Germany and the Netherlands.

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