Leeds woman stranded in Morocco fears she will be 'sleeping on street' after flight ban
A Leeds woman stuck in Morocco fears she will be "sleeping on the street" after the country banned all incoming flights due to coronavirus fears.
Amy Jones, 27, travelled to Marrakesh on a Ryanair flight on November 8 - with a return flight booked three weeks later.
Her flight was cancelled twice before she rebooked a return via Alicante, but on Monday Morocco announced it had immediately suspended all inbound flights for two weeks in response to fears over the new Omicron variant.
Only limited airlines, including Air France, TUI, Royal Air Maroc and Transavia, have permission to run flights out of the country - although the Irish Embassy is seeking permission from the Moroccan Government to fly repatriation flights with Ryanair.
Amy told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The Government implemented this instantly, we weren’t given any kind of notice.
"I heard about it through word of mouth, I was having something to eat and the waiter mentioned what was happening.
“I went straight to the airport the next day and we were told the only flights leaving were with Air France to get people out of the country. But they’re asking for money that I don’t have.”
Amy has just £200 left in her bank account and says flights are costing upwards of £500. She had travelled to Morocco for a solo holiday following her recent divorce and is currently out of work.
She joined a huge queue of people waiting to book flights with Royal Air Maroc, before finding out online that flights cost more than £1,000.
Although the flight suspension has been implemented for two weeks, Amy fears it could be extended - or further Covid restrictions implemented in Morocco.
"I'm scared," Amy, of Beeston, said.
"I’m worried that they’re going into a lockdown and I’m going to be stuck here, not able to get home.
“There's a risk of being stuck here for a year and possibly sleeping on the street. I don’t have the money to get home without getting into severe debt - and I can’t afford debt.”
Amy is in the process of contacting her MP for advice and the Government has advised British travellers in Morocco to ring the British Embassy for help.
But Amy feels she has limited options without the cash for a return flight home.
“I don’t think it’s just me in this situation," Amy added.
"It’s frustrating - they say it’s safe to travel, you travel and then you get stuck.”
“I don’t think it’s just me who’s in this situation. I want my story to reach other people so they know they’re not alone.
The UK Government advice for Morocco said: “The Moroccan Government has announced the suspension of all flights and ferry services to Morocco with effect from 11.59pm on November 29 for a period of two weeks.
“Travellers should contact their airline or tour operator for advice on their return.
“Some airlines, including Air France, TUI, Royal Air Maroc and Transavia are continuing to provide commercial flights out of Morocco.
“Contact the airlines direct to make a booking. British nationals in Morocco who require consular assistance should call the British Embassy.”
Ryanair was contacted for comment.
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