Morocco issues new rules for UK tourists at hotels after 'decades'

Morocco has introduced a new rule for UK tourists visiting the country in a crackdown on holidaymakers. Morocco has axed a rule which saw unmarried couples and solo women unable to stay in a hotel room unless they presented a marriage license.

Moroccan Minister of Justice Abdellatif Ouahbi had previously stated in a May parliamentary session: "Asking people for a marriage certificate is against the law. Those who ask for this document at the hotel are breaking the law and can face legal action.”

In Morocco, unmarried couples can typically stay together in a hotel room. However, there's a local regulation that Moroccan citizens, whether male or female, aren't allowed to share a room with a foreign citizen if they're not married.

READ MORE UK police deployed to Majorca with Balearic Islands braced for 'surge'

Abu Zaid Al-Muqri Al-Idrissi, leader of the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD), warned of "the consequences of cancelling the marriage contract, particularly for the spread of diseases like AIDS, marital infidelity and living off honour."

The politician added this measure would likely lead to "family disintegration, the proliferation of illegitimate children and dangers to society and families", as well as "a disintegrated and frayed social fabric", according to the New Arab.

The bans were intended to prevent sexual relations outside marriage, which are punishable by imprisonment in Morocco under controversial article 490 of the penal code. On social media, Moroccan internet users appear divided. Some hoteliers say they were only verbal instructions, but if ignored, the hotels would face severe consequences, such as having their authorisation revoked.

He added: "It is a sad day personally and proof that the discussion about the family code and adopted measures are two sides of the same coin: submitting to global dictates and radical, cruel and stormy Westernising measures imposed on us by the United Nations."

The PJD leader also argued the ban was in place to prevent crimes such as "adultery, homosexuality, and abortion."