Morocco to Extend State of Emergency Thursday


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Rabat – Morocco’s government will extend the state of emergency by one more month on Thursday, May 6.

The extension will take place during the government council, which Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani will chair to discuss several topics, including extending the state of emergency.

The state of emergency, which has been extended since March 2020, is due to run until May 10. The government continued to renew the measure as part of the efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

While citizens are expecting ease of lockdown measures due to vaccination campaign development, others believe that the government will introduce more restrictions due to the emergence of the Indian variant of COVID-19.

On Monday, Morocco confirmed two cases of the Indian variant. The carriers are an expatriate and a foreign citizen living in the country.

The Ministry of Health warned citizens of any laxity, calling on them to continue adhering to the precautionary measures to inhibit the spread of COVID-19.

Amid the emergence of the Indian variant, however, several news outlets quoted sources, suggesting that the government will ease lockdown measures after Ramadan.

The sources claim that the government will allow cafes and restaurants to operate until 11 p.m.

Before Ramadan, Morocco announced that it will maintain the night curfew. The owners and employees of cafes and restaurants decried the measure, which would cause further economic decline in the sector as the night is the only chance for such public spaces to operate during Ramadan.

The government responded to the concerns, emphasizing that vigilance during this critical time pushed officials to take such measures due to the worrying situation caused by the pandemic and the emergence of the new variants.

It remains to be seen whether the government will ease lockdown measures or maintain a night curfew again.