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Morocco - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Morocco due to the threat of terrorism.
Safety and security
The Berm (border regions of Western Sahara)
A militarized boundary, known as the Berm, separates the Moroccan-controlled part of Western Sahara from the rest of the Saharan territory, which borders Algeria and Mauritania. There are fatalities involving unexploded ordnance in this zone each year.
Border with Algeria
Morocco’s border with Algeria is closed. Don’t attempt to cross into Algeria by land.
Western Sahara is a non-autonomous territory whose political and legal status has yet to be determined through the United Nations. It’s a former area of conflict that’s still littered with unexploded landmines, particularly in remote regions and the militarized zone.
We may be extremely limited in our ability to provide assistance to Canadians in Western Sahara.
Travel in remote areas
When you travel to a remote area:
- restrict travel to officially designated tourist areas
- seek local, official tourist advice prior to travelling to the desert areas in the south
- hire only official guides recommended by hotels, travel agencies or local tourist authorities
- use only a four-wheel-drive vehicle for off-road driving in the mountains or desert
- ensure that your vehicle is properly equipped and has appropriate supplies and essentials, including potable water
There’s a threat of terrorism, and attacks have targeted foreigners. In December 2018, 2 Scandinavian tourists were found dead in a mountainous area of southern Morocco, 10 km from Imlil, a village in the High Atlas. Moroccan authorities have described the killing as a terrorist act. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels (specifically coastal beach resorts), and other sites frequented by foreigners
For your safety:
- always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
- stay at hotels that have robust security measures; keep in mind, however, that even the most secure locations can’t be considered completely free of risk
There’s a threat of kidnapping against Westerners in remote regions of Morocco and in areas bordering Algeria and Mauritania.
- Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times, especially when travelling in the southern and border areas of Morocco
- Don’t hike alone in remote mountain regions
Demonstrations take place from time to time, most often in Rabat. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Petty crimes notably pickpocketing, purse snatchings (sometimes by motorcyclists), scams and other thefts take place, most frequently in medinas, market areas, parks and on beaches but can also occur in all types of neighbourhoods.
To limit your risks:
- stay on major roads, especially when in the medinas, and exercise caution
- ensure that your personal belongings are secure
- don’t show signs of affluence, particularly when walking at night
- avoid carrying a purse
- don’t accept food, drinks or invitations from strangers, or change your planned itinerary at their request
- exercise caution in the mountainous Rif region, on the northern coast of Morocco. Drugs are produced in this area and tourists are occasionally tricked into unknowingly committing drug offences
While Moroccans are generally very friendly and hospitable, you should always exercise common sense and travel wisely.
Armed robberies with knives have occurred and have resulted in injuries and in some cases, deaths. Don’t resist robbers.
Thefts occur around ATMs.
Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is also frequent.
Tourists have been forcibly taken to stores and intimidated into making purchases.
Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Safe-travel guide for women
Road conditions and road safety vary greatly throughout the country, depending on location and weather (for example, in the mountains or during the rainy season).
- Avoid driving at night
- Have an accident report form (constat à l’amiable), which can be purchased at newsstands, in your vehicle at all times.
Not all drivers respect traffic regulations. Pedestrians, scooters and animals on roadways can also pose risks.
National roads are generally in good condition but are narrow and heavily congested.
Driving is generally easier on the highways.
Be extremely careful when driving on the Rabat-Casablanca highway and on certain national highways because of high traffic volume.
Accidents causing fatalities are common.
If an accident occurs and only involves material damage, the police won’t usually intervene. The parties involved should complete an accident report (joint report), which can be purchased at newsstands. If the accident involves casualties, avoid moving the vehicles before the police arrive.
Checkpoints are frequent. Carry your identification and vehicle documents at all times.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Exercise caution if travelling to Morocco for romance, especially in cases of relationships initiated on the Internet.
Find out beforehand about the country’s customs and laws on conjugal relations and marriage.
Ensure that you retain possession of your return plane ticket, your money and your passport in case problems arise.
While swimming conditions in tourist areas are generally safe and problem-free, public beaches in major cities are often polluted and unfit for swimming.
Swimming at some beaches on the Atlantic coast is dangerous due to strong currents and tides. Only swim at designated beaches and exercise caution.
Fondation Mohammed VI pour la protection de l’environnement - a list of beaches that meet international standards
Women and girls can be the subject of harassment when wearing swimsuits. Exercise caution and opt for tourist beaches rather than the public ones.
In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Moroccan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Morocco.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays of less than 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays of less than 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays of less than 90 days
Extending your stay beyond 90 days
You must secure proper authorization if you plan to extend your stay in Morocco beyond 90 days. Contact the Service to Foreigners Section (Section du service aux étrangers) at the local police station at least 15 days prior to the expiry of the 90-day limit.
If you remain in Morocco beyond the 90-day limit, you’ll be forced to remain there until seen by a prosecutor and fined.
Entering by private boat
To enter Morocco by private boat, you must do so at a recognized port of entry.
Entering with a private vehicle
If you enter Morocco with a vehicle, you must exit with it or you will be denied exit.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in North Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Eastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, crimean congo haemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, malaria, and tick-borne encephalitis.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in North Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
The quality of medical care varies greatly throughout the country. Casablanca, Marrakesh and Rabat have good, private medical facilities for non-emergencies. Care in public health facilities is not up to Canadian standards.
Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Illegal or restricted activities
Alcohol consumption outside of licensed bars, hotels and restaurants is prohibited. Offenders may be punished by detention or other penalties. Alcohol can also be purchased from licensed stores for private consumption.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and judgment is expeditious.
Non-Islamic religious materials
Unauthorized importation of bibles or other non-Islamic religious material is prohibited, except for personal use. Religious preaching is forbidden.
Mailing identity papers
Sending identity papers, such as passports, by mail is forbidden in Morocco and authorities may confiscate them.
Extramarital sexual relations
Extramarital sexual relations are illegal. Hotels may refuse to allow couples to stay in the same room, if they’re unable to prove that they’re married. Foreigners, however, are almost always exempt from having to provide proof.
Possession of pornographic material is illegal.
Don’t take photographs of military or security installations.
Drones and surveillance equipment
Drones and surveillance equipment are prohibited and will be confiscated by the authorities upon entry.
The Moroccan constitution states that the person of the King is inviolable and respect is due to him. It is expected that people avoid any criticism of the monarchy.
The laws of Morocco prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Morocco.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Children and citizenship
Children of Moroccan fathers automatically acquire Moroccan citizenship at birth, regardless of where they were born. Children of Moroccan mothers may submit a request for their citizenship.
Children and travel
Under Moroccan law, parents may prevent their children from leaving Morocco.
Entry and exit requirements when travelling with children
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Morocco. According to Moroccan law, however, Moroccan citizenship takes precedence over any other citizenship.
Airport authorities regularly ask dual citizens to produce their Moroccan national identification card.
If you’re a citizen of Canada, but also a citizen of Morocco, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited in Morocco. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements. See Laws & culture for more information.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
Dress and behaviour
Islamic practices and beliefs are adhered to in Morocco’s customs, laws and regulations. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
Public displays of affection are frowned upon.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2020, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 23.
The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan dirham (MAD). The dirham cannot be exchanged outside of the country. Exchange only as much money as needed, as it is illegal to take dirhams out of Morocco.
Unused dirhams can be converted at the airport exchange counter upon departure, with proof of your initial currency purchase.
Credit cards and traveller’s cheques are accepted in certain stores and restaurants in urban centres and in major hotels.
Natural disasters and climate
Morocco is located in an active seismic zone.
The rainy season usually extends from November to March, during which flash floods can occur frequently. These can be especially dangerous in the High Atlas valleys.
- Monitor regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 190
- medical assistance: 150
- firefighters: 150
Rabat-Souissi - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Morocco in Rabat and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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