Morocco reopens gradually without gov’t announcements

By Fatima Zohra Bouaziz

Rabat, Jun 1 (efe-epa).- Morocco has begun to reopen certain sectors over the past few days without making official announcements with its state health emergency set to continue for over a week.

More people and vehicles have been moving on the streets, while stores opened after a two-month closure for cleaning and disinfection.

The country’s lockdown which was first announced on 20 March is officially due to come to an end on 10 June, as Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani announced during a session parliament last month.

But the premier has not announced a reopening strategy.

Each sector has been resuming at its own pace after the minister of economy and finance Mohamed Benchaaboune urged companies to resume work after Eid al-Fitr on 24 May.

Authorities have avoided committing to a plan that could fail and instead have opted for a kind of experimentation, according to Rachid Aourraz, an analyst at the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis.

This approach gives the government a bigger margin of maneuver to prevent any risk of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, he adds.

The authorities are aware that several sectors did not approve the most recent extension of the state of health emergency and the negative impact the measures have on the economy, Aourraz says.

They have started to gradually lift some restrictions imposed on economic sectors, the analyst explains.

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