By Anthony Vasquez-Peddie, CTVNews.ca writer
TORONTO, Ontario (CTV Network) — Starting at midnight Sunday morning, all direct passenger flights from Morocco to Canada will be suspended, Transport Canada announced on Saturday, citing an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.
The restriction will remain in place for 30 days and is scheduled to be lifted Sept. 29, though an extension is possible. Cargo shipments, medical transfers and military flights are excluded from the ban.
The announcement was made shortly before noon EDT. Those who may have already been en route at the time will be allowed into the country and are required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival.
Passengers who wish to travel from Morocco to Canada via an indirect route during this period will be required to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country other than Morocco before continuing to Canada.
At least 26 flights from Casablanca, Morocco, landing in Montreal since Aug. 13 have included passengers with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Canadian government’s tracking database.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that Morocco is currently experiencing record highs in relation to the virus, with approximately 245,000 new cases and 2,600 deaths over the past month in the African nation of 36.5 million.
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