The country’s standard time zone became GMT+1 following a governmental decision in October 2018.
Rabat – Moroccans are set to return to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, May 31 at 2 a.m., one week after the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr.
The country turned its clocks back one hour to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on Sunday, April 19, at 3 a.m., five days before Ramadan began.
The country’s standard time zone became GMT+1 following the governmental adoption of Decree 2.18.855 in October 2018, adding 60 minutes to the standard time. This moved the country to GMT+1 year-round.
Before adopting the decree, Morocco switched its clocks every summer to Daylight Saving Time, GMT+1, and returned to the old standard time, GMT, whenever Ramadan fell in the summer.
The government made the change in a unilateral move, basing the decision on a study that revealed the impact of changing the time on Moroccans’ health and on the economy.
The study found that the additional hour may cause many preliminary physical issues including sleep disruptions, increased levels of stress, and health disorders.
Referencing the human body’s ability to adapt to the change, the study coordinators said that these effects are not a source of concern as they only occur during the first days.
The government also presented the time difference between Morocco and its economic partners as the main motive for adopting the GMT+1 standard year-round.
Regarding the impact on students, the study showed that there is a weak link between school performance and the change of one hour, noting that there has been some improvement in grades rather than a deterioration.
The decision sparked anger and disapproval among some citizens and students who condemned the government’s lack of consultation with the public.