Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Do not travel overseas at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions. This do not travel advisory (level 4 of 4) applies to all destinations except the Cook Islands....Read more

Do not travel overseas at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions. This do not travel advisory (level 4 of 4) applies to all destinations except the Cook Islands....Read more

Exercise increased caution in the Cook Islands (level 2 of 4). Quarantine-free travel is now available between New Zealand and the Cook Islands. Information about the current situation in Australia is available here....Read more

Exercise increased caution in the Cook Islands (level 2 of 4). Quarantine-free travel is now available between New Zealand and the Cook Islands. Information about the current situation in Australia is available here....Read more

  • Reviewed: 3 February 2021, 10:58 NZDT
  • Still current at: 28 September 2021

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COVID-19

We currently advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions.

The global situation remains complex and rapidly changing. International travel can be complicated with fewer international flights available and disruptions to transit routes and hubs. Any destination could experience a sudden increase in cases of COVID-19 and a heightened risk to travellers of contracting the virus. Strict health measures and movement restrictions could be imposed suddenly. Should you decide to travel despite our advice, be prepared to remain overseas longer than you intended. You should also be aware that your travel insurance may not cover travel disruption or medical expenses.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine in New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand must undertake 14 days of government-provided managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). Detailed information about MIQ requirements in New Zealand can be found at www.miq.govt.nz.

Pre-departure testing requirements for travellers to New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand (excluding those from Antarctica, Australia and most Pacific Islands) must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Detailed information about pre-departure testing requirements can be found on the Unite Against Covid-19 website here.

We recognise that some New Zealanders do continue to live and travel overseas. We continue to provide destination-specific advice about other safety and security risks below.

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Morocco

Terrorism
There is a heightened threat of terrorism in the Maghreb region of North Africa, which includes Morocco. Terrorist groups continue to threaten attacks in Morocco, including plots that may involve foreign fighters returning to Morocco from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

In December 2018, 2 foreign nationals were murdered while hiking in a remote mountain area near Mount Toubkal.

A number of suspected terrorists have been arrested in recent years and the possibility of future attacks, particularly in areas frequented by foreigners, cannot be discounted. There may be increased security measures in some areas, particularly around tourist sites and border crossings.

New Zealanders in Morocco are advised to maintain a high level of security awareness at all times, particularly in public and commercial areas known to be frequented by Western expatriates or travellers. In the event of an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so.

Civil Unrest
Protests and demonstrations occur from time to time in Morocco. New Zealanders in Morocco are advised to avoid any protests and demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and staying informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media for developments. 

Crime
Incidents of violent crime, including theft at knifepoint and armed robbery occurs in Morocco sometimes resulting in death and injuries. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, including from passing motorcycles is common especially in tourist areas like the medina quarter (or old part) of towns and cities, and on beaches. Tourists have been forcibly taken to stores and intimidated into making purchases in popular tourist areas. Stay on major roads, especially in medinas, and exercise caution.

We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings. Try not to travel after dark or to isolated areas. As victims of robbery are often targeted due to their perceived wealth, it is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as electronic devices and jewellery.

Credit card, commercial and internet fraud is common in Morocco. New Zealanders should be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true, as they may be a scam. For further information see our advice on Internet Fraud and Internet dating Scams.

Kidnapping
There is an on-going threat of kidnapping in remote regions of Morocco and in border areas. Hiking alone in remote mountain regions is not recommended. Kidnappers may be motivated by financial gain or terrorism. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times.  

Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory and its political and legal status remains unresolved. Most of Western Sahara is under the de facto administration of Morocco. A militarised boundary separates the Moroccan-controlled part of Western Sahara from the rest of the territory, Mauritania and Algeria. It is not possible to cross this boundary. A mostly sand wall (‘the Berm’) separates the areas controlled by Morocco and those controlled by the independence movement. The territory is a former area of conflict that still contains unexploded landmines which have caused death and injury, particularly in remote regions and the militarized zone with reports of landmines shifting away from the border area due to the movement of sand dunes. There has been a UN-monitored cease-fire since 1991.

New Zealanders who decide to travel to Western Sahara against our advice should be aware that travel from Morocco to the Moroccan-controlled part of Western Sahara is restricted by the Moroccan authorities.

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Morocco to avoid offending local sensitivities. Encouraging religious conversion is illegal, as is possession of Arabic-language versions of the Bible. Homosexuality and sexual relations outside marriage are illegal in Morocco. Do not consume alcohol in public places that aren’t licensed, particularly in traditional and rural areas.

You may find hospitals have no English-speaking staff or very limited ability to communicate in English. We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance.  Some private hospitals may insist on payment prior to being admitted.  If you do not have adequate insurance or are otherwise unable to pay your hospital bill, you may not be allowed to leave the country until your account is settled.

Female travellers, especially when travelling alone, may receive unwanted attention. To minimise this, you may choose to wear more conservative clothing.

Photography of sensitive locations, such as anything that could be perceived as a military or security interest, may result in problems with authorities. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

Carry identification at all times, checkpoints can be frequent. When entering the country, make sure your passport is stamped. You may experience difficulties leaving the country if your passport bears no entry stamp or you have overstayed your visa.

It is illegal to send passports to Morocco in the post or via a courier.  As there is no New Zealand Embassy in Morocco, we are limited in the assistance we can provide with regards to lost / stolen passports and you may experience a delay in obtaining a replacement full validity passport. 

Morocco recognises dual nationality, but Moroccan citizenship takes precedence. See our advice for travelling as a dual citizen

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

Morocco is situated in a seismic zone, and minor earthquakes occur occasionally.

The use of drones is restricted in Morocco and in some cases prohibited. New Zealanders should contact the relevant Moroccan authorities for more information before entering the country with a drone.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Morocco should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Morocco are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Madrid, Spain is accredited to Morocco

Street Address Calle del Pinar, 7, 3rd floor, 28006 Madrid, Spain Telephone +34 915 230 226 Fax +34 915 230 171 Email madrid@embajadanuevazelanda.com Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/spain Hours Mon-Fri 0900-1400, and 1500-1730, July and August: Mon-Fri 0830-1330 and 1400-1630

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Spain

Street Address
Calle del Pinar, 7, 3rd floor, 28006 Madrid, Spain

Telephone: +34 915 230 226

Fax: +34 915 230 171

Email: madrid@embajadanuevazelanda.com

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/spain

Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1400, and 1500-1730, July and August: Mon-Fri 0830-1330 and 1400-1630

Related advice from other countries

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