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11 Sep 2020 | 08:26 AM UTC

Morocco: Authorities extend Health State of Emergency until October 10 /update 30

Moroccan authorities extend Health State of Emergency until October 10; heed official directives

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Event

Moroccan authorities have extended the Health State of Emergency until October 10 in an effort to curb further the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Moroccan government opened borders to foreign nationals on September 6, who may arrive under certain conditions, following their closure due to COVID-19. Those arriving in Morocco are required to present proof of a hotel reservation, a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in-country, and must not be subject to a visa formality.

Authorities in Morocco reimposed COVID-19 restrictions in Casablanca on Monday, September 7, amid an uptick in cases. A nightly curfew from 22:00-05:00 (local time) will reportedly be in effect in the city for at least two weeks. All educational institutions are closed. Most businesses will be required to close by 15:00, cafes at 20:00, and restaurants at 21:00.

Individuals found to be violating social distancing and mandatory face mask measures will be fined 300 dirhams (33 USD). Face masks remain mandatory in all public spaces nationwide.

As of Friday, September 11, there have been 79,767 cases of COVID-19 in Morocco, and 1491 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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, diarrhoea, 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.

Advice

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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