The Moroccan government has announced that restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be eased in some areas of the country from Thursday, June 11. However, strict disease mitigation measures will continue to apply in most urban areas. The recovery strategy from the current state of health emergency, which was earlier extended until July 10, will see the country divided by province into two zones, in which different restrictions will apply.
Zone one, which currently includes predominantly rural provinces and prefectures, will see restrictions eased significantly, with the lifting of movement restrictions within the region and the reopening of some non-essential businesses. Parks and other public spaces will also be reopened, although public gatherings and events remain prohibited.
The suspension of intercity transportation was implemented on March 21, with exceptions for those traveling for health and professional needs. The government also called for the closure of nonessential shops and entertainment venues, including restaurants, cafés, theaters, and cinemas nationwide as of March 16. Schools and mosques are also closed. All international passenger flights to and from the country have been suspended since March 15.
More stringent restrictions will remain in place in zone two, which covers all major cities including Rabat, Casablanca, and Marrakech, although opening hours for essential businesses have been extended until 20:00 (local time). Movement restrictions within zone two areas remain in effect and permits are required for essential travel. Public gatherings and events also remain prohibited.
The designation of provinces will be assessed on a weekly basis with regard to the number of active COVID-19 cases. The current list of province designations is available from the Ministry of Interior website.
Other COVID-19 measures remain in effect across the country. The use of face masks is mandatory in public spaces, and those who fail to do so risk being fined or jailed. Schools, entertainment venues, and mosques remain closed. All international passenger flights to and from the country have been suspended since March 15.
As of June 11, there have been 8533 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morocco, with 211 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected globally in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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