Morocco to extend night curfew to limit COVID-19 surge

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A man wearing a protective face mask walks on an empty street, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Casablanca, Morocco March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

RABAT, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Morocco will lengthen its night curfew, starting two hours earlier at 9 p.m. (2000 GMT) from Tuesday, as it tightens restrictions to counter a surge in coronavirus infections, the government said on Monday.

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

The move is expected to hurt tourism business which pinned hopes on the summer season to attract national tourists after travel receipts dropped 70% in the first half this year.

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

However, 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.

Reporting by Alaa Swilam and Ahmed Eljechtimi; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Marguerita Choy

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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