Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Jordanian authorities announce borders and airports nationwide will remain closed through at least May 23 to stem the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Jordan

This alert began 04 Apr 2020 20:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

The Jordanian Minister of Health announced April 4 that his country's borders and airports will remain closed until at least the end of the month of Ramadan (April 23 - May 23) in order to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The closure, which originally went into effect March 17, affects all inbound and outbound international passenger flights, as well as land and sea borders. The measure does not apply to cargo flights or ground freight transport.

Jordanian authorities previously extended the closure of nonessential government ministries and institutions until April 15. Nonessential private businesses remain closed. Essential service providers in the public and private sectors, such as those relating to healthcare and energy, continue to operate.

A nationwide indefinite curfew entered into effect from 0700 March 21. Authorities eased restrictions March 25 to permit residents aged 16-60 years to shop for necessities at local stores, including groceries, bakeries, and pharmacies, from 1000-1800. Residents are permitted to travel on foot only. Prime Minister Omar Razzaz warned that crowding at shops would result in their closure.

Under the nation's state of emergency measure, the Jordanian army has deployed at entrances and exits of main cities to enforce the restrictions. Travel between governorates is banned and all public transportation services are suspended. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Background and Analysis
Jordan's travel restrictions and preventive measures are stricter than actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.