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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
Safety and security
Border regions of Western Sahara (see Advisory)
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. The eastern side of the Berm is sparsely populated and the Government of Canada is extremely limited in its ability to provide consular services there.
Western Sahara is a non-autonomous territory whose political and legal status has yet to be determined through the United Nations. It is a former area of conflict that is still littered with unexploded landmines, particularly in remote regions and the militarized zone.
The Government of Canada may be extremely limited in its ability to provide assistance to Canadians in Western Sahara.
Border with Algeria
The border with Algeria is closed. Do not attempt to cross into Algeria by land.
Travel in Remote Areas
Restrict travel to officially designated tourist areas if you choose to travel in remote areas. Seek local advice prior to travelling to the desert areas in the south and hire only official guides recommended by hotels, travel agencies or local tourist authorities. A four-wheel-drive vehicle and appropriate supplies are essential for off-road driving in the mountains or the desert.
There is a threat of terrorism in Morocco, and attacks have targeted foreigners. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include government buildings, places of worship, schools, transportation hubs and public areas frequented by foreigners (such as tourist attractions), restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets and hotels (specifically coastal beach resorts).
Be aware of your surroundings at all times in public places. Stay at hotels that have robust security measures; keep in mind, however, that even the most secure locations cannot be considered completely free of risk.
There is a threat of kidnapping 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.
Demonstrations occur in Rabat and various parts of the country. Although demonstrations have been generally peaceful, they can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation and have the potential to suddenly turn violent.
Since October 2016, there have been regular demonstrations in northern Morocco, around Al Hoceima and in Tangier and Nador. These protests have been occurring daily since May 26, 2017, and some have led to minor acts of violence. There is a heightened security presence in the area.
Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
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. Armed robberies with knives have occurred and have resulted in injuries and in some cases, deaths. Do not resist robbers. Thefts occur around automated banking machines. Credit card fraud is also frequent. Panhandling is increasing and some panhandlers can be aggressive toward tourists. Ensure that your personal belongings are secure and do not show signs of affluence, particularly when walking at night. Avoid carrying a purse.
Do not accept food, drinks or invitations from strangers, or change your planned itinerary at their request. While Moroccans are generally very friendly and hospitable, you should always exercise common sense and travel wisely.
Tourists have been forcibly taken to stores and intimidated into making purchases. Stay on major roads, especially when in the medinas, and exercise caution.
Exercise caution in the mountainous Rif region, on the northern coast of Morocco, since drugs are produced in this area and tourists are occasionally tricked into unknowingly committing drug offences.
Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information for Canadian women.
Road conditions and road safety vary greatly throughout the country, depending on location and weather (for example, in the high mountains or during the rainy season). National roads are generally in good condition but narrow and heavily congested. Driving is generally easier on the highways.
Accidents causing fatalities are common. Not all drivers respect traffic regulations. Pedestrians, scooters and animals on roadways can also pose risks. Avoid driving at night.
If an accident occurs and only involves material damage, the police will not usually intervene and the parties involved should complete an accident report (constat à l’amiable). Drivers should have an accident report form, which can be purchased at newsstands, in their vehicle at all time. If the accident involves casualties, avoid moving the vehicles before the police arrive.
Carry your identification and vehicle documents at all times, as checkpoints are frequent.
Be extremely careful when driving on the Rabat–Casablanca highway and on certain national highways because of high traffic volume. Accidents, which are numerous and often attributed to poor driving practices, have resulted in serious injuries and deaths.
If you enter Morocco with a vehicle, you must exit with it or you will be denied exit.
The rail network is developed, reliable and safe.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
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.
General safety information
While swimming conditions in tourist areas are generally safe and problem-free, public beaches in major cities are often polluted and unfit for swimming. Morocco’s environment agency, the Fondation Mohammed VI pour la protection de l’environnement, provides a list of beaches that are up to international standards.
Swimming at some beaches on the Atlantic coast is dangerous due to strong currents and tides. Only swim at designated beaches and exercise caution.
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)
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 the country beyond the 90-day limit, you will be forced to remain in Morocco until you are seen by a prosecutor and fined.
If you enter Morocco by private boat, you must do so at a recognized port of entry.
Airport authorities regularly ask dual citizens to produce their Moroccan national identification card. See Laws & culture for more information.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- There are no updates at this time.
Posted: January 26, 2018
Risk of a Large Outbreak of Meningococcal Disease in Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that countries in Africa's meningitis belt (see country list below) and neighbouring countries are at a high risk for a large outbreak of meningoccocal disease (commonly called meningitis).
There is a high risk of a large outbreak in the area because the strain of meningitis that is currently circulating is a new hyper-invasive strain of serogroup C and there is a shortage of meningitis C-containing vaccine.
If you plan to travel to any country in Africa's meningitis belt or a neighbouring country, it is recommended that you get vaccinated against meningococcal disease with a conjugate serogroup C-containing vaccine.
For more information, see the WHO Situation update on meningitis C epidemic risk.
Countries in Africa's meningitis belt include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, and United Republic of Tanzania
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 provider 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 and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
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 (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
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.
* 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 for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
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.
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 provider.
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. Standards of care in public health facilities are not up to Canadian standards.
Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment.
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
Laws & 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.
The penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict and judgment is expeditious.
Unauthorized importation of bibles or other non-Islamic religious material is prohibited, except for personal use. Religious proselytizing is forbidden.
Sending identity papers, such as passports, by mail is forbidden in Morocco and authorities may confiscate them.
Extramarital sexual relations are illegal. Hotels may refuse to allow couples who are unable to provide proof that they are married to stay in the same room, although foreigners are almost always exempt from having to provide proof.
Possession of pornographic material is illegal.
Do not take photographs of military or security installations. 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.
Children and custody
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 must have both parents’ permission to travel, regardless of whether they are travelling on a foreign or Moroccan passport.
Under Moroccan law, parents may prevent their children from leaving Morocco. Adults travelling with children should always carry written permission from both parents, or a legal document granting them custody or allowing them to travel alone with the children.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Morocco.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Morocco, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
Dress and behaviour
Islamic practices and beliefs are adhered to in the country’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 2018, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 15.
The local currency is the Moroccan dirham (MAD), which 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
Natural disasters & climate
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 Valley area. Monitor regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
Morocco is located in an active seismic zone.
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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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