The Moroccan Health and Interior Ministries announced that from Monday, July 27, a partial lockdown will be reintroduced amid a recent spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The new measure will restrict entry and exit from the cities of Casablanca, Fez, Tangier, Marrakech, and Meknes. Exceptions will include inter-city trade and cargo. An end date of the newly-imposed lockdown has yet to be announced.
Previously, authorities partially reopened the country's borders, however, only to Moroccan residents returning from foreign countries. A mandatory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test will have to be taken within 48 hours of traveling and individuals entering the country will be subject to a seven-day isolation period followed by a second COVID-19 test.
The borders remain closed to all foreign nationals and tourism.
As of July 26, health authorities have confirmed 20,278 COVID-19 cases with 313 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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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