Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Jordanian authorities to lift all COVID-19-related restrictions on economic activity beginning May 6. Other restrictions apply.

This alert affects Jordan

This alert began 04 May 2020 02:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Jordanian authorities announced that they would lift all restrictions on the economic sector beginning May 6, following a decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Officials will also allow public transportation to resume full operations. Schools and universities, however, will remain closed, and the nightly curfew of 1800-0800 remains in place.

Authorities will also ease driving restrictions from May 10. Previously, residents nationwide were only permitted to drive private vehicles between 0800-1800 to attend to essential needs, with vehicle use restricted based on the last digit of the license plate number. Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers were allowed to be on the road on alternating days starting April 29; vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers or zero could be driven on alternating days beginning April 30. This measure did not apply to residents of Aqaba, Karak, Tafilah, and Ma'an governorates who could use vehicles regardless of their license plate numbers between 1000-1800. Vehicles were limited to two people.

Some public transportation and taxi services resumed from April 29. However, the wearing of face masks and gloves was mandatory, and the number of passengers was restricted depending on the size of the vehicle to comply with social distancing measures. Furthermore, law firms were permitted to reopen nationwide as part of a gradual COVID-19 recovery plan. Barbershops, hair salons, laundries, shoe repair shops, dry cleaning services, flower shops, financial auditors, and accountants resumed work April 27. Previously, businesses selling electronics, construction services, furniture, clothes, and books were permitted to reopen April 20 at reduced capacity.

Additionally, the government eased curfew restrictions in Madaba, Jerash, and Ajloun governorates April 29. Authorities previously eased curfew restrictions in Mafraq, Karak, Tafilah, Ma'an, Irbid and Aqaba governorates. Commercial facilities and businesses in these governorates were permitted to resume daily operations between 0800-1800. Residents aged 16-60 years were allowed to shop for necessities at local stores, including groceries, bakeries, and pharmacies, from 1000-1800. The Jordanian army has deployed at entrances and exits of main cities to enforce the restrictions.

Jordanian authorities have extended the closure of nonessential government ministries and institutions until the end of Ramadan May 23. Essential service providers in the public and private sectors, such as those relating to healthcare, energy, and banking, will continue to operate but with reduced staff numbers. Jordan's borders and airports remain closed until at least the end of Ramadan. 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. Universities, schools, places of worship, and gyms remain closed nationwide. 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.

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.


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