Morocco plans $220 million package to help COVID-hit tourism sector

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Morocco will provide two billion dirhams ($220 million) in aid to help tourism businesses and workers cope with COVID-19 restrictions, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday.

Morocco has kept its borders shut since late November and reinforced its vaccine pass requirements in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Africa CDC briefing on how the continent is dealing with the Omicron variant:

The aid package includes 1 billion dirhams to help hotels renovate and stay afloat after a 22-month-long crisis, and a 2 000 dirham monthly payment in the first quarter of this year to affected workers, the ministry said in a statement.

Other measures include loan payment deferrals and a local tax waiver for 2020 and 2021.

Tourism generated $8 billion, or 7% of Morocco’s economy, in 2019 when the country received 13 million tourists. But the central bank expects it to have made only $3.6 billion last year.