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Coronavirus: Moroccans who fail to wear masks in public risk jail

By Betty Njeru and Agencies | April 8th 2020

Morocco announced that wearing masks is compulsory for all people outside their homes.

The directive that came into effect yesterday is aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic in the North African nation.

Anyone found flouting the directive will be prosecuted and liable to the legal penalties, ranging from one to three months’ jail time and a fine between 30 and 130 US dollars, the government said.

Face masks are being sold at a price of $0.08 each.

By next week, Morocco plans to be producing almost six million face masks a day, an increase from the current figure of 3.3 million, industry ministry spokesman Taoufiq Moucharraf told Reuters.

As at Wednesday, April 8, the country had reported 1,184 coronavirus cases and 90 deaths, with 93 recoveries.

On March 19, Morocco declared a one-month state of health emergency until April 20.

Only those with permits are allowed to go to work, but people can leave their homes to buy food or medicine.

Authorities have since arrested and charged over 8,600 for flouting lockdown rules, including failing to produce a permit, illegally transporting people, or selling counterfeit goods.

Last week, Morocco’s Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Industry issued a list of the professional activities authorized to continue operating despite the national state of emergency.

Commercial activities authorised to continue operations include grocery stores, butcheries, bakeries, stores selling cleaning products, drugs, medical equipment, spare parts, agricultural products and equipment.


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