Morocco closes access to eight cities in the country amid “significant increase” in cases

Moroccan authorities have decided to ban travel to and from eight cities in the country from Monday, including Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier, due to a “significant increase” in recent days in cases of contamination with the new coronavirus.

Morocco has taken containment measures in the country’s major cities, from midnight due to an increase in new cases of contamination with the new coronavirus, the Interior Ministry and Health announced on Sunday 26 July.

Traffic to and from eight cities will be banned, including the economic capital Casablanca, located in the western part of the country, the tourist capital of Marrakech in the south, Tangier in the north, the UK’s second economic hub and Fez, a city in central Morocco.

The move announced on Sunday comes days before Eid al-Adha, a holiday traditionally marked by family reunification, and takes effect on Monday until further notice, according to a joint statement from the Ministries of Home Affairs and Health. .

In social networks, videos and photos show traffic jams on the main Moroccan shoulders, which occurred on Sunday a few hours after the government’s announcement.

A “relaxation” of some citizens before the mask

The travel ban was taken “due to the significant increase in cases of pollution” with Covid-19 disease and “given that the majority of citizens did not follow preventive measures – social distancing, wearing a mask”, according to the text.

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The Interior Ministry noted a “relaxation of certain individuals” in wearing mandatory masks in Morocco and said in a statement that the authorities “will not hesitate to apply the sanctions according to law”. The penalties are up to three months in prison and / or a fine of 1,300 dirhams, or 115 euros.

Morocco eased national containment measures a month ago despite the fact that international flights are still suspended, with the exception of special flights carrying Moroccans or foreign nationals. The country has approved the opening of cafes, restaurants since June. , shops and domestic tourism.

The emergency is valid until 10 August

An emergency decree was extended until August 10, allowing the authorities to re-establish restrictive measures region by region depending on the development of the epidemic.

The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that 633 new cases of Covid-19 had been registered, one of the largest daily increases to date, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 20,278, with 313 deaths and 16,438 cures.

On Saturday, Health Minister Khalid Aït called on Taleb to “avoid unnecessary visits and physical contact and to ensure that preventive measures are followed during family gatherings” during Eid al-Adha.

With AFP and Reuters