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Couple stuck in Morocco, want to return home to Victoria

Kathleen McCann wants to follow the advice of the Canadian government and return home to Victoria, but she and her husband are struggling to find a flight out of Morocco.
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Kathleen and John McCann are trying to come home to Victoria from Morocco, but they're struggling to find a way out of the country.

Kathleen McCann wants to follow the advice of the Canadian government and return home to Victoria, but she and her husband are struggling to find a flight out of Morocco.

The couple have already spent about $15,000 on rebooked flights, only to have them cancelled.

“Everything’s been cancelled,” she said. “The [flights] that are remaining are full. You can’t get on them.”

Morocco has suspended all international flights, but it’s unclear when the restriction will be fully implemented. Spain has also closed its border with the country.

The McCanns have managed to book a flight leaving the country on Thursday, but McCann thinks the borders are likely to close before then.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Canadians who are travelling outside of the country should return “while it is still possible to do so.”

“Let me be clear: If you’re abroad, it’s time to come home.”

He urged Canadians who are abroad to come home immediately and said the government will set up a fund to help them do so if they find the cost out of their reach.

Trudeau’s comments followed advice from Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, who on Sunday reminded Canadians on Sunday to avoid non-essential travel outside the country until further notice.

“Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be disrupted. So far, flights to the U.S.A. are operating regularly,” Champagne wrote in a social media post.

McCann says she and her husband, John — both of whom are in their late 60s — are just two of many travellers desperately trying to find a way home.

She hopes the government will send a plane to bring them back, but Global Affairs said that’s not in the cards right now.

“Canada has no current plans to repatriate Canadians from abroad,” the department said in an emailed statement Sunday.

The department said it’s aware that the Moroccan government has suspended all international flights in and out of the country, but that it’s unclear when the restriction will be fully implemented.

“Limited flights departing from Morocco are currently still available and may be offered on some airlines through Thursday 19 March,” Global Affairs said.