Is it safe to travel to Morocco right now? Latest travel advice

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On April 19, Israel reportedly launched a retaliatory attack on Iran, in response to missile and drone attacks on Israel on April 13. The UK Foreign Office’s advice for Morocco has not changed following this, however it has highlighted that the situation is “changing fast”, and that visitors should monitor its advice before their trip. Additionally, it advises visitors that it’s more important than ever to get travel insurance and check that it provides sufficient cover before visiting the country.

Just three hours’ flight away with an hour’s time difference, Morocco is a short-haul option that offers holidaymakers endless variety at often incredibly affordable prices. The earthquake in the Atlas Mountains in September 2023 has deterred some tourists, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit. In cities like Marrakesh and Rabat, magnificent examples of Arabic architecture can be found in mosques, schools and historic sites, while expansive souks offer up the equivalent of Aladdin’s cave, filled with trinkets, carpets and handmade furniture. A bohemian vibe permeates its west coast, especially in Essaouira, where surfers flock for the reliable waves and affordable hotels. And then there are the mountains and desert for those looking for adventure.

What’s the latest government advice about travelling to Morocco?

The UK Foreign Office does not currently advise against travelling to any part of Morocco. However, it does state that terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks. In particular, there is an increased threat linked to the number of Moroccans sympathetic or belonging to Daesh (formerly ISIL) and other extremist groups.

The places highlighted as being at heightened risk include crowded areas, government buildings, transport networks, businesses with Western interests, and areas where foreign nationals and tourists are known to gather. You should stay vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities, the Foreign Office advises.

Best hotels in Morocco
Best hotels in Marrakesh

Has Morocco been affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict?

A visitor takes a selfie at the Bahia Palace in Marrakesh

A visitor takes a selfie at the Bahia Palace in Marrakesh

GETTY IMAGES

Geographically speaking, as Morocco is very far from Israel it’s not directly affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

At the end of December 2020, Israel and Morocco also signed a normalisation agreement, which means both nations recognise each other’s sovereignty and are committed to establishing normal diplomatic relations.

However, within Morocco there is significant support for Palestinians with rallies taking place in the capital Rabat. The Foreign Office advises avoiding any kind of political protests.

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Is it safe to travel to Morocco right now?

Street life in the imperial city of Meknes

Street life in the imperial city of Meknes

ALAMY

There’s no reason not to travel to Morocco, but there are some safety considerations to bear in mind.

Although there have been no recent kidnappings of foreign nationals, the UK Foreign Office warns that this cannot be ruled out in advice that also applies to other countries in northern Africa. The threat comes from terror groups from Libya, Mauritania, and the Sahel, who use it for financial or political gain.

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag snatching and drive-by motorcycle theft are common in Morocco, particularly in tourist areas such historic quarters and beaches. There have also been occasional reports of violent crime where weapons such as knives have been used against tourists in street attacks and burglary. The Foreign Office advises avoiding quiet areas after dark and not to carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you.

Which areas were affected by the 2023 earthquake?

The Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat

The Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat

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Close to 3,000 people died in Morocco after a devastating earthquake hit a remote area of the Atlas Mountains on September 8, 2023. Most of the deaths and injuries occurred in the mountain villages, which are often remote and difficult to access.

In Marrakesh, the nearest tourist hub, some buildings collapsed or were damaged as a result of the earthquake. Most of the damage was in the medina, a Unesco world heritage site and the oldest part of the city. Many of the buildings here are historic, and were not built to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes.

Agadir and Essaouira also experienced some superficial damage to buildings but were otherwise unaffected by the earthquake.

The country is, however, open to tourism, and the income from tourism is certainly appreciated by those affected by the earthquake.

Best riads in Marrakesh
Best villas in Morocco

What are Morocco’s entry requirements?

British passport holders do not need a visa to enter Morocco for the purpose of tourism, and they can stay for up to 90 days. To stay for longer than 90 days, request an extension at a local police station.

Your passport should be valid for at least three months on the day you enter Morocco. Your passport should not be damaged as otherwise you may be refused entry. You should also make sure your passport is stamped on entry, as you may experience difficulties leaving.

Is Morocco safe for female travellers?

A visitor at a night market stall in Djemaa el-Fna, the main square in Marrakesh

A visitor at a night market stall in Djemaa el-Fna, the main square in Marrakesh

GETTY IMAGES

Morocco is generally considered safe for female travellers, especially in holiday resorts. However, if you’re travelling alone, you may receive unwanted attention from men. The Foreign Office advises wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers the arms, legs and chest.

What can women do to stay safe while abroad?

Is Morocco safe for LGBT travellers?

Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, although it remains a popular destination for LGBT travellers. The Foreign Office advises against public displays of affection, which may cause offence and lead to prosecution.

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