Morocco abruptly drops clock change

Morocco has decided to scrap winter time and will instead keep its clocks at summer time, GMT+1, all year around.

The announcement comes less than two days before the clocks would have gone back by one hour on Sunday.

Avoiding the switch would save "an hour of natural light", Administrative Reform Minister Mohammed Ben Abdelkader told Maghreb Arabe Press.

The north African nation joins a number of others, mainly in Africa and Asia, which do not use daylight saving.

What is GMT?

Close-up of hands on clock faceImage copyrightISTOCK

  • Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time measured on the Earth's zero degree line of longitude, or meridian
  • This runs from the North Pole to the South Pole, passing through the Old Royal Observatory in the London suburb of Greenwich
  • This line has been called the Greenwich Meridian since 1884, and it is from here that all terrestrial longitudes are measured and the world's time zones are calculated
  • GMT remains constant throughout the year
  • In the winter months, local time in the UK is the same as GMT, but in March, local time is moved forward one hour to British Summer Time (BST) until the end of October
  • A number of other countries around the world also use this daylight savings measure and change their local times to take advantage of earlier sunrises
  • Co-ordinated Universal Time, or UTC, is essentially the same as GMT, but UTC is measured by an atomic clock and is thus more accurate – by split seconds

Reaction to the change has been mixed on social media, with one person calling the last-minute decision Kafkaesque:

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Another questioned how it would affect activities during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan:

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Others welcomed the decision, like this commentator in Algeria who joked his newly aligned Moroccan neighbours would also be closer to Algerian culture including its square pizzas:

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And this social media user is simply relieved that Morocco will remain at "tea time" time throughout the year:

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While many people around the world enjoy the extra hour in bed that comes as clocks go back one hour for winter time, there have been prominent campaigns to abolish it.

One UK campaign group even says staying at summer time all year-round would reduce traffic accidents, because road users would be able to see better in the evenings.

The European Union said in August that it would recommend that its member countries scrap the twice-yearly clock change.

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