Check out on June’s daily COVID-19 updates and take a look back at the pivotal developments that characterized Morocco during this tide-turning month.
June 2020 was somewhat of a “golden age,” if you will, in Morocco’s fight against COVID-19. Mass testing campaigns, economic recovery strategies, far-reaching repatriation operations, eased lockdown measures, and the revival of domestic tourism characterized June.
King Mohammed VI ordered the delivery of aid to several African states, and Morocco exported face masks to countries struggling to meet domestic demand. All the while, Morocco recorded hundreds of recoveries per day compared to only a handful of new cases.
For many, June 2020 was a month of hope, as life in Morocco seemed to be returning to normal.
June 1: Morocco’s total COVID-19 cases reach 7,833 while recoveries jump to 5,893. The death toll is 205.
Another death-free day as the health ministry reports only 26 new cases and a staggering 434 recoveries in 24 hours.
Only 1,735 active cases remain.
Education ministry grants free access to online learning platform
The Ministry of Education launches an initiative to allow Moroccan students to access the TelmidTICE remote learning platform without the need for an internet subscription. Students may freely download all the lessons and digital resources on the platform.
Moroccan academics invent new COVID-19 tracking app
A scientific team from the National School of Applied Sciences at the Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech develop a mobile application called “Marocovid” that allows users to track their interactions with COVID-19 carriers.
Cadi Ayyad announces epidemiology observatory plans
Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech is set to build an epidemiology observatory to monitor local, regional, and international epidemics. The future institution would be the first of its kind in Morocco and would focus its research on virology and epidemiology.
Health ministry launches Wiqaytna app
The Ministry of Health officially launches the COVID-19 tracking application “Wiqaytna.”
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June 2: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals include 7,866 cases, 6,410 recoveries, and 206 deaths.
The health ministry records 33 new cases and one death in 24 hours, but also 517 recoveries—a new record for the country.
3.5 million benefit from food aid
Morocco’s campaign to mitigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis has supported 3.5 million people with food aid.
5 million to benefit from health insurance
Morocco is in the process of implementing a project to provide health insurance and pension coverage for independent workers. The program targets more than five million independent workers.
Judicial system goes digital
Minister of Justice Mohamed Benabdelkader says his department is finalizing the digital transformation plan for Morocco’s judicial system. Courts throughout Morocco have hosted 1,469 remote trial sessions, scheduled 22,268 cases, and decided 9,035 since suspending most standard hearings on March 16 due to the health crisis.
June 3: Total cases amount to 7,922, with 6,866 recoveries and 206 deaths.
Recoveries continue to surge, with 456 new in 24 hours. Cases increase by 56 while deaths stagnate.
King Mohammed VI calls for mass COVID-19 testing
King Mohammed VI calls on employers to carry out mass COVID-19 screenings to protect private-sector employees. The campaign should take into account the overcrowding and other health constraints inherent in workplaces.
MAScIR gears up to produce 10,000 diagnostic kits
MAScIR, the creator of Morocco’s first COVID-19 diagnostic kit, aims to manufacture 10,000 kits before July and then develop a more substantial production system to cover national demand.
June 4: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals stand at 8,003 cases, 208 deaths, and 7,195 recoveries.
The health ministry confirms 81 new cases, two deaths, and 329 recoveries in 24 hours.
King Mohammed VI extends CSMD deadline
King Mohammed VI agreed to offer an additional six months for the Special Commission on the Development Model (CSMD) to deliver their work given the current health crisis. The new model “should integrate in its work the implications and transformations engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the King.
June 5: Total cases stand at 8,071, including 7,268 recoveries and 208 deaths.
Morocco records 68 new cases, including 11 children, along with 73 new recoveries and no new deaths.
Arab Monetary Fund loans $211 million
The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) provides a loan of $211 million to Morocco to assist the country in undertaking public finance reforms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 6: Total cases hit 8,151, including 7,315 recoveries and 208 deaths.
The health ministry registers 80 new cases and 47 recoveries in 24 hours, and no new deaths.
June 7: Morocco’s COVID-19 figures include 8,224 cases, 7,364 recoveries, and 208 deaths.
The health ministry records 73 new cases, 49 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Moroccan labs carry out up to 17,500 COVID-19 tests daily
The health minister announces that 24 national laboratories in Morocco carried out a combined total of 17,500 screening tests for COVID-19 in one day, a new record.
Ait Taleb: Morocco has overcome the worst of COVID-19
The health minister says during a webinar that “we have succeeded together and with pride in overcoming the most difficult of this crisis” and that Moroccan hospitals have “succeeded in caring for people suffering from this disease, most of whom [recovered].”
June 8: Morocco extends the state of emergency as COVID-19 cases reach 8,302, with 7,408 recoveries and 208 deaths.
The health ministry confirms 78 new cases, 44 recoveries, and no deaths as the government announces its state of emergency and lockdown decision.
Morocco to ease lockdown, extend state of health emergency
Morocco’s state of emergency will remain in place until at least July 10, but the lockdown will start easing on the evening of June 10.
The state of emergency is a legal framework that allows the government to implement proactive measures, while the lockdown is one of the preventive measures the government has implemented within this framework.
Repatriation operations set to kick off in Spain
Morocco prepares to begin repatriation operations for Moroccans stranded in Spain. Repatriation will start with those who have been stranded in the region of Algeciras, then Madrid, Catalonia, and the Basque region.
After bringing home those stranded in Spain, Morocco will move to repatriate Moroccan tourists stranded in Turkey, the Gulf countries, France, as well as African countries. Repatriation will first prioritize Moroccans who went abroad on short tourist visas, as well as those who are in a precarious financial situation or suffer from serious health conditions.
Strategy to rescue tourism, craft sectors
Morocco is working to re-establish itself as a global destination for tourists in a post-pandemic world and revive the crisis-battered craft sector. Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah El Alaoui details the recovery plans.
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June 9: Morocco confirms 8,427 cases of COVID-19, 7,493 recoveries, and 210 deaths.
The health ministry reports 135 new cases, 85 recoveries, and two deaths in 24 hours. The number of active cases in the country now stands at 734.
Morocco announces 1st phase of lockdown exit strategy
A joint statement from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior outlines the country’s strategy to ease lockdown, to begin on June 11. The country is divided into two zones, where measures depend on the epidemiological situation in each prefecture and region.
Phase one of deconfinement seeks to ensure the resumption of economic activities in all Moroccan regions, including industries, shops, handicrafts, local activities and small trades stores, local commerce, and weekly souks (produce markets). Cafes, restaurants, hammams, cinemas, theaters, and mosques will not recommence activities at this stage.
No set date to reopen borders
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs admits that while the country has commenced repatriation operations to bring home Moroccans stranded abroad, the official date to reopen its borders is yet to be determined.
Morocco exports 18.5 million face masks to 11 countries
Since May 21, 69 Moroccan companies have exported over 18.5 million protective face masks to 11 countries.
ONDA unveils plan to resume airport activity
The action plan, complete with sanitary and social distancing measures, aims to prioritize the safety of passengers, personnel, and all airport staff and visitors.
June 10: Morocco’s COVID-19 totals reach 211 deaths, 8,508 cases, and 7,565 recoveries.
The health ministry records one new death, 71 cases, and 72 recoveries.
Morocco outlines lockdown strategy
Due to the regional disparities in the epidemiological situation, the lockdown measures will differ from one region to another.
The country is divided into two zones: Zone 1 includes 80% of Moroccan regions and provinces, 95% of Morocco’s territory, and 61% of the country’s population; Zone 2 includes 16 regions and provinces and 87% of the country’s COVID-19 cases.
Moroccans, regardless of what zone they live in, must continue to respect health and safety measures, such as wearing face masks in public and avoiding gatherings. Businesses that are based on social gatherings remain closed.
The new eased measures are expected to help the Moroccan economy gradually recover.
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June 11: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,537, including 7,583 recoveries and 211 deaths.
The health ministry records 29 new cases, 18 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Morocco calls for platform of African epidemic experts
Morocco’s representative at the African Union (AU) Mohamed Arrouchi stresses the importance of establishing a platform of African experts on epidemics to consolidate the continent’s response to future health challenges during an AU videoconference.
Morocco sends medical aid to Mauritania
King Mohammed VI has decided to send a special aircraft full of medical supplies to assist Mauritania in its COVID-19 response. The initiative is part of Morocco’s efforts to help fellow African states in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 12: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,610, including 7,618 recoveries and 212 deaths.
The health ministry records 73 new cases, 35 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours.
June 13: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,692, including 7,696 recoveries and 212 deaths.
The health ministry records 82 new cases, 78 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
El Othmani: Morocco will adjust lockdown measures
The new phase of more relaxed confinement measures marks a “critical moment and prime opportunity for the country’s businesses,” says the head of government. The government will conduct a new evaluation in a week to check Morocco’s progress under the new measures, and to make decisions on further measures.
June 14: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,793, including 7,765 recoveries and 212 deaths.
The health ministry records 101 new cases, 69 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
King Mohammed VI orders African aid operations
The Moroccan monarch orders the delivery of medical aid to 15 African countries to assist them in their fight against COVID-19.
The countries set to benefit from the aid include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, Chad, and Zambia.
The total aid package consists of nearly eight million masks, 900,000 visors, 600,000 hygiene caps, 60,000 gowns, and 30,000 liters of hydroalcoholic gel.
Morocco will also send out 75,000 boxes of chloroquine and 15,000 boxes of Azithromycin.
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June 15: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,855, including 7,828 recoveries and 212 deaths.
The health ministry records 92 new cases, 63 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Morocco details strategy to beat pandemic
Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Latfit presents the government’s strategy for managing all the phases of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the plan is based on measures aimed at safeguarding public health and strengthening social and economic aspects.
Japan injects funds into UNICEF Morocco
The Japanese government has granted UNICEF Morocco $573,804 to support Morocco’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, improve communication on the virus, purchase medical supplies, train UNICEF partners, and prepare for Moroccan students’ return to schools.
June 16: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,931, including 7,937 recoveries and 212 deaths.
The health ministry records 46 new cases, 109 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Morocco begins repatriation of nationals in Turkey
Deconfinement to include resumption of domestic tourism
El Othmani says the second phase of deconfinement will include a relaunch of more economic, social, and cultural activities, including domestic tourism activities, in both Zones 1 and 2.
June 17: Morocco’s total COVID-19 cases amount to 8,997, including 7,993 recoveries and 213 deaths.
The health ministry records 66 new cases, 56 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours.
The country’s recovery rate stands at 89% while the fatality rate remains 2.4%.
June 18: Morocco’s total COVID-19 cases amount to 9,074, including 8,041 recoveries and 213 deaths.
The health ministry records 77 new cases, 48 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
COVID-19 pandemic reveals Morocco’s production capabilities
Morocco’s Minister of Industry says Morocco could be “an important” piece of the puzzle of industrial competitiveness and production in Europe. He underlines Morocco’s capacity to not only sustain itself but lend support to its African and European allies during the unprecedented pandemic.
June 19: Morocco counts 9,613 COVID-19 cases, 8,117 recoveries, and 213 deaths.
The national daily case record is broken as Morocco confirms 539 coronavirus cases in 24 hours. Meanwhile, recoveries increase by 76 and the death toll stagnates.
An outbreak at red fruits canning sites in Kenitra causes 457 infections.
Moroccan government moves some provinces to Zone 1
Casablanca, El Hajeb, Fez, Berrechid, El Jadida, Ben Slimane, Mediouna, Nouaceur, Mohammedia, Rabat, and Skhirat-Temara will be included in Zone 1 come June 25. Areas under this classification are enjoying a gradual relaxation of lockdown measures.
The decision excludes the provinces and prefectures of Tangier-Asilah, Marrakech, Larache, and Kenitra, where COVID-19 hotspots recently emerged.
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June 20: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 9,839, including 8,223 recoveries and 213 deaths.
The health ministry records 226 new cases, 106 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
New field hospital in Kenitra aims to quell hotspot
Morocco’s Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit announces the establishment of a field hospital in Sidi Yahya El Gharb, near Kenitra, after a major outbreak in red fruits canning sites in the Kenitra province.
June 21: Total COVID-19 cases amount to 9,977, including 8,284 recoveries and 214 deaths.
The health ministry records 138 new cases, 61 recoveries, and one death — the first in several days — in 24 hours.
Thousands of Moroccans set for repatriation between June 22-25
From June 22 to 25, Morocco will commence repatriation operations using 20 flights to bring back 3,180 Moroccans stranded in France, the Netherlands, Tunisia, the UAE, Belgium, Senegal, and Italy.
The repatriated citizens will all arrive at Agadir’s Massira Airport.
As more lockdown measures ease, normacly is on the horizon for 90% of the country
More than 90% of Morocco’s provinces are set to enjoy even more relaxed measures come June 25, with fewer restrictions on movement; no curfew; reopened cafes, restaurants, shopping centers, gyms, and hammams; resumption of intercity travel and domestic flights; opened beaches, sports fields, and parks; and a return to domestic tourism activities in Zone 1.
Morocco carries out 20,000 daily screening tests for employees
The health minister says the country has reinforced COVID-19 screening operations for employees and professionals, testing, on average, 20,000 per day. The screening initiative is likely to help “make up for the economic deficit recorded during the period of containment to revive a dynamic of activity and to return to a normal rhythm of productivity.”
Hotspots are natural during deconfinement
The government spokesman says the emergence of new COVID-19 hotspots is natural as the country gradually lifts its nationwide lockdown, reassuring that authorities have quickly intervened to isolate hotspots such as the recent 457-case outbreak in Kenitra.
Moroccans repatriated from Mauritania, Tunisia
Morocco continues its African repatriation operations, bringing home 151 Moroccans from Mauritania and 150 from Tunisia. Flights are also ongoing to repatriate Moroccans from various European countries.
Morocco to repatriate 5,000 citizens per week
Bourita vows that Morocco will repatriate 5,000 to 6,000 Moroccans stranded abroad every week, with RAM operating approximately 30 weekly flights.
The airplanes will also start filling 100% of their passenger capacity after previous repatriation flights only used two-thirds of available seats.
June 22: Morocco’s confirmed COVID-19 cases amount to 10,172, including 8,366 recoveries and 214 deaths.
The health ministry records 195 new cases, 82 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours.
Morocco cancels 2020 operation Marhaba
The “Marhaba” operation to bring Moroccans residing abroad to the country for the summer holidays will not take place this year, Bourita announces.
Stranded Moroccans return from the Netherlands
The first reparation flight from the Netherlands brings home 150 Moroccans from Amsterdam. The flights benefitted citizens in vulnerable situations, including those with illnesses and those who went abroad for medical procedures, as well as older adults.
June 23: Morocco records 10,344 total COVID-19 cases, 8,407 recoveries, and 214 deaths as the country prepares to open up.
The ministry of health detects 172 cases, 41 recoveries, and no deaths in 24 hours ahead of looming relaxations of lockdown measures.
First group of Moroccans repatriated from Belgium
A plane from Brussels returns home 150 Moroccans in the country’s first repatriation operation for the benefit of nationals stranded in Belgium.
Spain ‘ready’ to facilitate return of Moroccan diaspora
Spain’s FM says Spanish authorities are ready to facilitate the transit of Moroccans residing in Europe if Morocco decides to open its international borders.
Domestic flights to resume
The June 25 resumption of Morocco’s domestic flights will affect the routes of Casablanca-Dakhla, Casablanca-Laayoune, Casablanca-Oujda, Casablanca-Agadir, Fez-Marrakech, Agadir-Tangier, and Marrakech-Dakhla.
Repatriation operations continue from Brussels, Paris, Dubai
Morocco repatriates over 600 stranded nationals from Brussels, Paris, and Dubai on three RAM flights.
Kenitra court investigates COVID-19 outbreak in red fruits sector workers
The public prosecutor at the Kenitra Court of Appeals opens a judiciary investigation into the circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak in three industrial red fruits production and packaging units in Lalla Mimouna, near Kenitra.
COVID-19 cost five public enterprises a collective $694.8 million since March 20
The Royal Air Maroc airline (-$109.1 million per month), the National Electricity Office (ONEE; -$45.9 million), the National Airports Office (ONDA; -$31.8 million), the National Railway Office (ONCF; -$29 million), and the national highway company (Autoroutes du Maroc; -$18.3 million) suffered the worst financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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June 24: Morocco records 10,907 total COVID-19 cases, 8,468 recoveries, and 216 deaths, one day before the country is set to relax lockdown measures.
The ministry of health detects 563 cases, 61 recoveries, and two deaths in 24 hours. Despite these figures, 90% of Morocco’s provinces are still set to ease restrictions tomorrow.
81% of transport, logistics projects resume
The minister of transport says work has resumed on 81% of projects related to the transport and logistics sector, which have a gross budget of $4.1 billion and are related to road infrastructure, ports, motorways, railways, dams, and construction.
Passenger transport sector on strike over ‘crippling conditions’
The professional bodies representing the passenger transport sector express their frustration with the new specifications of work, which they considered to present “crippling conditions.”
‘Wiqaytna’ app garners two million downloads
Morocco’s official COVID-19 tracking app “Wiqaytna” exceeds two million downloads in a three-week period.
June 25: The country relaxes lockdown measures for 90% of Morocco’s population as COVID-19 cases reach 11,338, with 8,500 recoveries and 217 deaths.
The health ministry records 431 new cases, 32 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours, but the government remains committed to its deconfinement plan.
RAM enjoys ‘historic’ relaunch of domestic flights
June 25 will “remain stuck in the memory of the Royal Moroccan Airlines,” says the director of RAM’s customer service department in response to the “historic” reopening of domestic flights after more than three months of suspended activities.
June 26: Morocco records 11,633 total COVID-19 cases, 8,656 recoveries, and 218 deaths.
The health ministry reports 295 new cases, 156 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours. The recovery rate has lowered to 74.4% but the fatality rate has also decreased to 1.9%.
First group of Moroccans stuck in the UK returns
The Moroccan government repatriates 150 nationals stuck in the UK on a flight from London to Marrakech.
Morocco repatriates 150 nationals from Italy
The Moroccan government repatriates 150 nationals stuck in Italy on a flight from Milan to Agadir.
June 27: Morocco records 11,877 total COVID-19 cases, 8,723 recoveries, and 220 deaths.
The health ministry reports 244 new cases, 67 recoveries, and two deaths in 24 hours.
Education minister checks out bac testing sites
The minister of education assures students and their families of the enhanced security and public health precautions being taken within testing centers during visits to various baccalaureate exam centers in Rabat-Sale-Kenitra.
Health ministry attributes COVID-19 case spike to increased testing
The Ministry of Health assures that the epidemiological situation in Morocco is under control and that the recent surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases is due to mass testing operations.
Moroccan startup designs, manufactures infrared thermometer
Moroccan tech startup Nextronic has designed and manufactured the first 100% Moroccan infrared thermometer, as part of the national efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
June 28: Morocco records 12,052 total COVID-19 cases, 8,740 recoveries, and 221 deaths.
The health ministry reports 175 new cases, 17 recoveries, and one death in 24 hours.
June 29: Morocco records 12,290 total COVID-19 cases, 8,833 recoveries, and 225 deaths.
The health ministry reports 238 new cases, 93 recoveries, and four deaths in 24 hours.
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June 30: Morocco records 12,533 total COVID-19 cases, 8,920 recoveries, and 228 deaths.
The health ministry reports 243 new cases, 87 recoveries, and three deaths in 24 hours, but the EU confirms Morocco is a safe country of origin for travelers to the Schengen Zone.
Spain sets condition of reciprocity for opening borders with Morocco
Spain declares it will only welcome travelers from Morocco if the North African country opens up its borders to travelers from Spain. If Morocco does not agree to the new condition of reciprocity, the borders will remain closed.
Morocco makes final ‘safe’ list for Schengen Area travel
Morocco secures its spot on the European Union’s final list of 14(+1) countries from which travelers will be permitted to enter the Schengen Area beginning July 1.
Morocco repatriates last of nationals stuck in Japan
The Moroccan government repatriates the final group of nationals stuck in Japan.
Taxi drivers protest restrictive measures
Rabat taxi drivers take to the streets shirtless and with chains around their wrists and necks to protest “the lack of responsiveness” to their requests to resume operations at standard capacity.
Find our complete timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco here.