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The Streets of Marrakesh are Awfully Quiet

Marrakesh is almost empty without the millions of visitors who visit the snake charmers, story tellers and colourful traders as the coronavirus pandemic brings tourism to its knees. In the winding streets leading to the iconic Jamaa El Fna square, many of the shops are closed and the ones that open their doors are lucky if they make a sale. Morocco has 35 million inhabitants and has recorded over 1,500 deaths from coronavirus and more than 86,600 confirmed cases. Officials declared a state of health emergency in mid-March and shut its borders to stop coronavirus from spreading. It was hoped after restrictions were eased, domestic tourism may be the answer to mitigate losses for shops and tourist operators. But new restrictions closed the Marrakesh’s borders and seven other cities. Marrakesh, along with the economic capital Casablanca, is among the most affected cities. Tourism is a key industry for Marrakesh and attracted three million visitors last year.