Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Jordanian extend closure of public institutions through the end of April to slow spread of COVID-19. Further restrictions possible.

This alert affects Jordan

This alert began 12 Apr 2020 19:17 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities in Jordan have extended closure of all public institutions, schools, and universities through the end of April as part of their efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Essential agencies, such as security agencies and medical facilities, are exempt from the measure. Jordanian authorities previously extended the closure of nonessential government ministries and institutions until April 15. Nonessential private businesses remain closed.

Other preventive measures taken by Jordanian authorities include the closure of the country's borders and airports until at least the end of the month of Ramadan (April 23 - May 23). 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.

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.

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 also 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.

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.