Morocco has banned all travel to and from some of its major cities to try to stem a small spike in coronavirus cases, even though the North African country has remained less impacted than its European neighbours to the north.

As of Monday morning, a joint statement from the Moroccan health and interior ministries quoted by MAP state news agency said that there is a “ban” on travel affecting the cities of Tangier, Tetouan, Fez, Meknes, Casablanca, Berrechid, Settat and the popular tourist destination of Marrakesh.

The statement adds that exceptions to this include “people with urgent medical needs” and workers on specific missions who will need a travel permit issued by a local authority.

Passengers and luggage are screened for travel at Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca, Morocco

The transport of goods and commodities will continue normally.

The ministries said the decision was made because many Moroccans were not complying with measures encouraged by the governments to fight the spread of the coronavirus, such as social distancing, the wearing of masks and the use of disinfectants.

Morocco has confirmed 20,278 cases and a relatively low 313 deaths from the virus.

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