A new resolution of the BOE keeps the border crossings of Ceuta and Melilla with Morocco closed, at least until 31 March 2022. This decision has been taken for reasons of public order and health due to the Covid-19 health crisis. This order modifies the criteria for applying temporary restrictions on essential travel from third countries to the European Union and some countries associated with the Shengen zone.
According to the BOE resolution, the order will remain in effect until midnight on 31 March, although it is possible that it may change depending on the evolution of the pandemic in Morocco and the recommendations of the European Union.
The publication of this measure comes shortly after Morocco extended the state of emergency until the end of March. Mustafa Baitas, the government spokesman, described the measure as necessary to ensure that the Moroccan authorities have the necessary capacity to keep the pandemic under control.
The borders have been closed since 13 March 2020, when the Moroccan authorities cut off free movement in order to control the advance of Covid-19, and so far the conditions for reopening them have not been met.
This situation caused thousands of people to be trapped without being able to return to their homes on both sides of the border in 2020. Faced with this situation, Spain opened a humanitarian corridor so that Spanish residents in Ceuta and Melilla trapped in Morocco could return to their homes.
Morocco has only allowed the opening of borders on two occasions so that Moroccans trapped in Ceuta and Melilla could return. One in mid-May and the other in September last year. They were allowed to return as long as they had undergone a prior quarantine and a PCR.
The latest data published by the Moroccan authorities show a clear improvement in Covid-19 cases, thus overcoming the Omicron variant. Since last week, Morocco has experienced a massive drop in cases.
In the last 24 hours, 188 new cases of infection have been recorded, and 375 recoveries were reported, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. Ten new deaths were also reported.
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection also reported that those vaccinated with at least one dose increased to 24,745,113, those receiving the second dose increased to 23,194,745, and there were now 5,698,017 people with all three doses.