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Rabat – The Moroccan government is set to announce ease in restrictions post-Ramadan for restaurants and cafes.
According to media reports, citing informed sources, the government will allow restaurants and cafes to work until 11 p.m. while maintaining preventive and protective measures including social distancing and wearing masks.
The ease of restrictions will be implemented based on the development of the epidemiological situation in each neighborhood. If a neighborhood records an increase or a high number of cases, local authorities will order shops, cafes, and restaurants to close until the situation improves.
Situation of the workers in the service sector
After experiencing a three-month full suspension of activities during the 2020 worldwide lockdown, the service sector emerged as one of the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Ramadan curfew at 8 p.m., owners and workers saw their source of income suspended due to the restricted work hours.
After a long day of fasting, activities resume after breaking the fast. During Ramadan, the peak hours for cafes and restaurants change to the evening and night, compensating for daytime closures.
Cafes and restaurant owners and workers have raised their concerns to the Head of the Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, in a petition opposing the Ramadan night curfew due to the consequences on their businesses.
The petition, signed by Noureddine El Haraq, president of the National Office of the Association of Cafe and Restaurant Owners, was submitted to El Othmani a few days after the government announcement of the Ramadan curfew.
The petition warned the night curfew in Ramdan would cause the service sector to come to a “complete collapse.”