Moroccan government extends curfew to counter COVID-19 surge

New directives deemed necessary as the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths increased significantly.

The Moroccan government has tightened the curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. instead of 11 p.m. to 4.30 a.m., and has barred travel to and from Casablanca, Marrakech, and Agadir. These new restrictions look to halt the spread of the pandemic in view of the considerable increase in the number of cases and deaths recorded recently. The business and tourist hubs of Casablanca, Agadir and Marakech will be closed except to holders of a vaccination passport or those on necessary travel, added the government in a statement made on Monday. The new directives will take into effect as of today, 03 August 2021 and includes closing restaurants and cafés at 9 p.m., as well as hammams (public baths), gyms, and indoor swimming pools.

Gatherings and activities in both closed and open spaces will be confined to 25 individuals; it will be required for local authorities to approve events exceeding this number. The statement also added that all the precautionary measures adopted under the state of health emergency will be maintained. On 8th July, the government announced that the state of emergency will be extended until August 10th as part of the efforts to combat COVID-19 and its variants. Over the last week, infections have fluctuated between 4,000 and 9,000 cases, bringing the overall number to 569 452, with 9 885 COVID-19 related deaths. On the other hand, the country has surpassed its African peers in terms of vaccine delivery, having administered 24 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines to date.