Corona Virus Updates
In mid-July there an announcement that was phase one of the opening up of Morocco (allowing Moroccans abroad & anyone with a residency card to enter).
They had a fraction of the cases compared with all countries who had the opened borders in Europe.
However, the situation has changed since then because so many people travelled to be with their families to celebrate the biggest feast of the year (Eid Al Adha) at the end of July. As a result, cases have increased notably since then (mainly in the big cities – our area still has very, very low incidence).
Apologies that the graph is hard to read! To put it into perspective I selected 6 countries for comparison- Morocco & Greece are right at the bottom then UK, Spain & France with the USA at the top (source: Financial Times Coronavirus statistics).
OUR CARE We would like to reassure you that we will take the utmost care of both our guests and are staff (as those who have visited before know this is what we always do), but of course now there must be some extra measures in place.
YOUR SAFETY AT THE ECOLODGE
The design of our Ecolodge, our exceptional staff and measures taken to reassure you:-
Private terrace for each room plus 3 large outdoor paved areas (360 sq m) courtyard, terraces by pool and on roof.
Very good ventilation through doors, windows and ventilation chimneys (at least 3 doors & windows in large communal rooms).
57 square metre pool for guests only; silver/copper disinfection more effective than chlorine as well as being environmentally-friendly.
Social distancing – floors marked at 1.5 m; wide walkways in the open air to single storey rooms.
Hygienic granite & marble worktops. Regular and thorough cleaning & good handwashing facilities.
Design and materials maintain comfortable temperatures whilst ventilated: thick earth walls keep warm in winter or cool in summer.
Half hectare plot – plenty of space to socially distance.
Transfer in our own vehicle(s) from an airy, small, efficient airport.
Regular temperature checks of staff and guests using remote laser device.
Monitored careful daily cleaning and laundering including sanitising high traffic surfaces.
Liquid soap for handwashing in en suite bathrooms plus 4 public toilets.
Buffets for serving food are discontinued.
Kitchen: 17 metres long with 6 sinks designated for handwashing, fruit & vegetables, meat, fish, dishwashing & rinsing dishes. All set in 27 metres of granite worktops.
Signs for you to request not to have cleaner enter your room during your stay if you prefer, but instead just collect rubbish and dirty linen outside the door.
Toilets are in a separate cubicle from washbasins.
We have sign on all toilets to remind guests to close the lid before flushing to prevent the spread of droplets.
We have recently made some beautiful pigeonholes in the communal area for guests from each room to keep their small possessions in (eg keys, papers, phones, serviettes).
We are offering reflexology as well as/instead of massage because greater distancing can be implemented.
Our very special staff have been carefully trained in new procedures.
THE SITUATION IN MOROCCO
Morocco has a low rate of infection with no Covid-19 in the south. There is widespread testing in place – even every taxi driver was tested before returning to work in our town where we had only had 3 cases in 4 months!
SUNLIGHT & WARMTH
A study published in late June shows that strong sunlight is capable of wiping out 90 percent or more of coronavirus living on surfaces in just 34 minutes – we have enough of that in Taroudant (the warmest in Morocco in the winter) as proven by the tortoises who don’t need to hibernate here because they can get enough energy from the sun. Besides a study published in the August 2020 edition of The Lancet a researcher reports that, in real life situations, he found “no viable SARS-CoV-2 detected on surfaces.”
When international tourism in Morocco opens again
Borders were closed for 4 months until 15th July when foreigners with residency permits were allowed to enter as well as Moroccans from abroad. Borders could re-open in October (currently flights are on sale for that month BUT not for Sept). Morocco is primarily a Sept-May destination & flights could be viable then). The authorities have put in place measures to ensure that tourists can travel safely. The airports have already been set up with hygiene and control systems.
By law tourist accommodation will not be allowed to reopen until they have put into place hygiene measures which are subject to control and monitoring.
Morocco, with a population of 36 million, had only 817 deaths on the 21 August. Morocco’s use of hydroxychloroquine has resulted in only a 1.7% fatality rate. Professor Zemmouri, a Moroccan scientist, believes that 78% of Europe’s COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented if Europe had used hydroxychloroquine (an inexpensive drug with a long safety record); it must, however, be administered early in the course of the disease, unlike in some of the unsuccessful trails. They had been widely praised for their handling of the disease and are now donating substantial quantities of supplies for Covid-19 to several African countries, although Africa is the continent with the lowest rates of infection. Since August the situation has worsened.
In case you would like to know my thoughts about keeping healthy please click the button below.