Cafe and restaurant owners have been expressing concerns regarding the impact of the night curfew during Ramadan amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Rabat – The national office of the Association of Cafe and Restaurant owners has submitted a petition to Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, calling him to reverse the decision to maintain a night curfew during Ramadan.
Noureddine El Haraq, the president of the association signed the petition, emphasizing that the suspension of the night curfew may contribute to saving the sector.
The petition warned that the decision to maintain the night curfew during Ramadan threatens a “complete collapse” of the sector that is a source of income for many Moroccans.
Morocco decided to maintain the night curfew during Ramadan as part of the preventive measures to limit the pandemic crisis.
The government cited a “remarkable” increase in infections and concerns regarding the situation due to the new COVID-19 variants.
The night curfew in Ramadan means that cafes will not operate for the whole month. Traditionally, and before the pandemic’s outbreak, cafe and restaurant activity reaches its peak during the evening.
In response, the association issued several statements expressing their concerns regarding the night curfew decision.
The first statement announced strikes that cafe owners planned to show their concern regarding the COVID-19 restrictions.
Last week, a second statement was released stating that the association will hold the government responsible for the outcome resulting from the decision to maintain the night curfew.
The maintenance of the night curfew is not with precedent. In March 2020, Morocco announced a total lockdown that lasted several months and included Ramadan.
The lockdown included the full shutdown of cafes and restaurants.
When lockdown eased in mid-June, restaurants and other public spaces re-opened with strict health restrictions, such as 50% capacity of customers, social distancing, and sanitary measures.