The first distribution operation began in Benguerir, but more operations across Morocco are expected to follow.
The campaign, launched on Friday, August 21, aims to raise awareness on the importance of wearing face masks in public, as well as to support citizens unable to regularly purchase the masks.
Local authorities of Benguerir organized the campaign in coordination with several NGOs, including the Moroccan Red Crescent.
The campaign targeted the majority of neighborhoods in the city, especially those most populated.
While local authorities distributed masks, volunteers from the Moroccan Red Crescent showed citizens how to properly use the masks and dispose of them. They also answered citizens’ inquiries regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco and the use of face masks.
The campaign, which is expected to be replicated in several Moroccan cities, came after King Mohammed VI ordered the Ministry of Interior to distribute free reusable face masks for needy communities.
The operation is set to cover regions with a high number of COVID-19 infections, such as Casablanca-Settat, Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, Marrakech-Safi, Beni Mellal-Khenifra, and Fez-Meknes.
The royal directive came after Morocco witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. In July alone, the country recorded 24,322 cases—over half of the infections Morocco has confirmed since the domestic outbreak began in March.
Wearing face masks in public is compulsory in Morocco. Citizens not wearing masks while outside risk fines, and even prison sentences.
According to Decree-Law 2.20.292, violators must pay an immediate fixed fine of MAD 300 ($32) if they want to avoid trial. If they are unable or refuse to pay the fine in 24 hours, they can face a prison sentence ranging from one to three months and a fine of MAD 300 to MAD 1,300 ($140).