Morocco prepares for re-opening domestic tourism

This article was originally published on Morocco World News on June 17, 2020.

Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said on June 16 the second deconfinement phase will include a relaunch of more economic, social, and cultural activities in both zone 1 and 2.

The announcement also includes the gradual launch of domestic tourism, which was directly affected by the COVID-19 crsis.

Tourism accounts for 11% of Morocco’s GDP.

On May 5, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui said 87% of hotels in Morocco had shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Alaoui said Morocco’s state of emergency had caused a 63% decline in hotel stays since March 20.

El Othmani is set to announce the beginning of the second phase of the lockdown exit strategy after the initial evaluation, which will take place in two days

This stage will see expansion of lockdown easing, including the reopening of public spaces. The government will also allow gatherings with certain limitations, in addition to public activities. The Head of Government said such activities will open, taking into account the epidemiology situation in the country.

The country is also preparing measures for the resumption of international travel and foreign tourism.

Commenting on Morocco’s decision to extend the state of emergency on June 9, El Othmani said the move comes in response to several factors, including the “continued need for a legal framework that allows urgent intervention to address the negative effects” of the pandemic.

The decision is also due to the continued presence of the virus and the emergence of hotspots.

The official recalled the country’s decision to ease lockdown in several provinces.

In zone 1, citizens can go out without exceptional movement permits, taking into account the preventive measures like the wearing of face masks and the use of hygienic products.

Zone 2 citizens and residents should always carry their permits, taking into account the preventive measures.

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