Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Jordan ease COVID-related restrictions in Aqaba Governorate from April 19. Businesses to resume daily operations 1000-1800.

This alert affects Jordan

This alert began 18 Apr 2020 19:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Aqaba Governorate (map)
  • Start Time/Date: April 19
  • Impact: Resumption of business activities; continuing travel disruptions

Summary
Jordanian authorities announced plans to ease restrictions related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Aqaba Governorate beginning April 19. All commercial facilities and businesses in the governorate will be permitted to resume daily operations between 1000-1800 from April 19. Residents will be permitted to travel on foot or in vehicles during these hours. Additionally, fisherman will be allowed to fish between 0400-1600 daily. The easing of restrictions in Aqaba Governorate is the first official step taken since Prime Minster Omar Razzaz' April 15 announcement that the government would gradually lift Jordan's nationwide lockdown and allow more businesses to open.

Schools, universities, mosques, churches, restaurants, and other such facilities will remain closed in Aqaba Governorate. All public transportation remains suspended; all land, air, and sea border crossings are closed to passenger travel. Cargo transport is permitted. Entry and exit to and from Aqaba Governorate requires written approval from the governor.

Aqaba is located approximately 330 km (205 miles) south of the capital Amman.

Background and Analysis
Jordan's travel restrictions and preventive measures correspond with similar 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.

Advice
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.