Is it safe to visit Morocco? Latest travel advice

Djemaa el Fna square, Marrakech, Morocco
Everything you need to know about travel to Morocco right now - Moment RF/Getty

Following the outbreak of war in Israel and Gaza and the recent escalation of tensions between Israel and Iran, some people may be concerned about the safety of travelling to Morocco or other areas in North Africa and the Middle East right now.

Here’s everything you need to know about travel to Morocco, whether it is safe to visit, and your rights if you do decide to cancel your upcoming holiday.

What does the FCDO say about travel to Morocco?

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has not issued any blanket advisories against travel to Morocco. This means that travel insurance will be valid when visiting the country.

However, the FCDO has updated its advice to say: “On 13 April 2024 Iran carried out military action against Israel. On 19 April, there have been reports of explosions in Iran, and unconfirmed reports of explosions in Syria and Iraq. Monitor this travel advice and other media as the situation is changing fast. Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.”

You can see the full Morocco FCDO advice here.

Are flights still operating as usual to Morocco?

Yes. Flights from the UK to Morocco do not go in the vicinity of the Middle East. Morocco is 2,500 miles away from Tel Aviv as the crow flies. By way of comparison, London is closer: 2,200 miles from Israel. So geographical proximity alone should not be a consideration for any upcoming travel plans.

Is Morocco impacted by the Israel-Hamas war?

To date Morocco has not been impacted by the conflict, although large-scale pro-Palestine marches have taken place in the country. The FCDO warns: “There is currently a heightened chance of demonstrations and protests occurring across the country. You should avoid these gatherings, and be aware of the potential for protests to occur spontaneously. Protests can happen at short notice and are generally heavily policed. Demonstrations are mostly peaceful but there has been isolated violence. Demonstrations and protests may lead to increased travel disruption in affected areas.”

Is Morocco still recovering from the 2023 earthquake?

On September 8, 2023, a 6.8–6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Marrakesh–Safi region of Morocco. The epicentre was 45 miles (73km) southwest of Marrakesh, near the small town of Ighil and the Oukaïmeden ski resort in the Atlas Mountains.

Some 3,000 people were killed and more than 6.6 million Moroccans were affected by the earthquake, according to the Moroccan government.

There was considerable devastation across the remote mountain communities of the Atlas Mountains, and Marrakech, a city popular among tourists, experienced significant damage including building collapses. In some parts of the country the rebuilding process continues, but Marrakech’s airport is open and the country is very much open for tourism once again.

On the subject of earthquakes in Morocco, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) says: “Morocco is in an earthquake zone. Minor earthquakes happen occasionally. The last major earthquake was in 2023, which killed almost 3000 people. Familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake and take note of any instructions in hotel rooms.”

Is terrorism a risk in Morocco?

In 2018, two tourists were murdered while hiking near Mount Toubkal, and the FCDO advises: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Morocco.”

The FCDO adds: “There is an increased threat linked to the number of Moroccans sympathetic or belonging to Daesh (formerly ISIL) and other extremist groups. Authorities regularly disrupt terrorist cells.”

Places at higher risk include crowded areas, government installations, transportation networks, businesses with Western interest, and areas where foreign nationals and tourists are known to gather.

“Be vigilant in these areas and follow any specific advice of the local security authorities,” the FCDO adds.

What if I want to cancel my holiday?

If you have booked a package holiday to Morocco and want to cancel your trip for any reason, contact your tour operator and they might offer flexibility with alternative dates.

But bear in mind that, because the Foreign Office has not issued any formal advice against travel to Turkey, there is no guarantee you will receive a refund, nor will you be able to claim money back with your travel insurance company.

If you have booked flights and accommodation independently, and wish to cancel your holiday, contact your travel providers as soon as possible to see if you can rearrange your plans. Note, however, that given the circumstances, it is unlikely you will receive a full refund.

This story was first published in October 2023 and has been revised and updated.


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