Just over four months ago, Morocco was experiencing the most virulent wave of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The health measures did not differ much from those imposed at the beginning of March 2020. Fortunately, vaccination has progressed at a breakneck pace, leading to a significant drop in the incidence of cases. Although there are still areas of the country where the situation is still considered "severe", the weekly incidence has fallen to 8/100,000, the lowest in 16 weeks.
As a result of this improvement in the health situation, the UK government has decided to adopt a new approach to infection prevention by requiring a COVID passport. From Thursday 21 October next, the vaccination pass will be required for the use of public transport. Moreover, from then on, travel between regions and prefectures, whether by public or private means of transport, will be permitted on the sole condition that the COVID passport is shown, after it has been authorised as an effective measure by the Moroccan health authorities.
The new measures against the spread of the virus also extend to administrations and places of entertainment. The press release issued by the Executive indicates that both employees and users of public, semi-public or private administration will be obliged to show the vaccination pass before entering the premises. The officials in charge of the administrations will have to ensure the correct compliance with the new measures as they will be under their direct legal responsibility. Hotels and tourist establishments, restaurants, cafés, cafés, enclosed spaces, shops, sports centres and hamams (Turkish baths) are added to this list of places whose access is subject to the COVID passport.
For those who are already fully vaccinated - two doses, although the third dose is being administered for those who received the second dose at least six months ago - they can obtain their COVID passport through a link provided by the Moroccan government: www.liqahcorona.ma. In the event that they are unable to obtain it through this portal, the communiqué states, they can do so by going to an administrative annex near their place of residence and acquiring it in person. In any case, they call on all those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.
However, the Moroccan government recalls that the rest of the measures are still in force and that, although the situation is improving, it is necessary to remain vigilant for possible upsurges in cases. What has been done is to relax some measures for leisure, such as the extension of opening hours for hotels and restaurants until 23:00 with a 50% capacity or the occupation of public transport with a 75% capacity. Also, gyms and Turkish baths will be limited to 50%, and all outdoor events will be limited to a maximum of 50 people.
Morocco's main objective now is to accelerate the process of vaccinating its population. More than 20 million people have already been inoculated with two doses of the vaccine - just over 52 per cent of the population - making the Alawi kingdom the country with the highest vaccination rate on the African continent. However, herd immunity is still a long way off, something they intend to encourage with a third dose that has already been administered to 700,000 people following the approval of this third jab in early October.