Authorities announced on Saturday, April 18, that the nationwide lockdown measures currently in place will be extended until Wednesday, May 20, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
An initial month-long lockdown came into effect on Friday, March 20, with measures in place to restrict movement domestically. All nonessential movement is prohibited, with residents only allowed to leave their homes to shop for food and medicine, or to go to work with the required permits issued by authorities. The suspension of intercity transportation was implemented on Saturday, 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 Monday, March 16. Schools and mosques are also closed. All international passenger flights to and from the country have been suspended since Sunday, March 15.
Further, on Tuesday, April 7, the government enforced the mandatory use of face masks in the public space, with those who fail to do so at risk of being fined or jailed.
To date, there are 2685 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morocco, including 137 associated fatalities. 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.