Morocco to extend night curfew to limit Covid-19 surge

Move is expected to impact summer tourism

A Moroccan health ministry worker disinfects a street in the capital Rabat on March 22, 2020. - A public health state of emergency went into effect in the Muslim-majority country late on March 20, and security forces and the army have been deployed on the streets to combat the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease. People have been ordered to stay at home, and restrictions on public transport and travel between cities are also in place. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)

Morocco will lengthen its night curfew, starting two hours earlier at 9pm from Tuesday, as it tightens restrictions to counter a surge in coronavirus infections.

The business and tourist hubs of Casablanca, Agadir and Marrakech will be closed except to holders of the vaccine pass or those on necessary travel, the government said.

The move is expected to hurt the tourism sector, which pinned hopes on the summer season to attract national tourists after travel receipts dropped 70 per cent this year.

Daily Covid-19 infections have oscillated between 4,000 and 9,000 over the past week as the total number of cases rose to 569,452, including 9,885 deaths.

Morocco has outpaced other African peers in its vaccine push, administering 24 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines.

Last week, the country started administering Johnson and Johnson doses after receiving a shipment of 300,000 jabs.

Updated: August 3rd 2021, 6:48 PM