Morocco has extended the nationwide night curfew to curb the spread of COVID-19 for two additional weeks, starting tomorrow, February 2, at 9 p.m.
The Moroccan government announced the extension today, despite the country recording only 281 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours — the lowest number of daily infections since July.
A statement from the government explained that the decision is based on recommendations from the Ministry of Health’s scientific and technical committees.
The nationwide curfew is a ban on movement between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night, except for exceptional reasons such as professional obligations or medical emergencies.
The curfew also concerns businesses, which have to close before 8 p.m. every evening.
Morocco first introduced the night curfew for a period of three weeks, starting December 21, 2020. When it neared its end, the nationwide curfew witnessed a two-week extension, starting January 14. Today’s extension is the second of its kind.
The Moroccan government also mentioned the threat posed by the new COVID-19 variant, which first emerged in the UK, as one of the reasons behind today’s extension.
Morocco’s Ministry of Health announced on January 18 the detection of the first case of the new COVID-19 strain, which is believed to be 70% more transmissible than previously-recorded variants.
Since then, Moroccan health authorities have not announced the detection of any other cases of the new COVID-19 strain in the country.
Morocco currently counts 471,438 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 450,052 recoveries and 8,287 deaths.
The number of active cases in the country has been in constant decline for more than two weeks. It currently stands at 13,099.