Authorities in Jordan extended the 24-hour curfew in the town of Borma in Jerash Governorate through at least Nov. 1 due to increased coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Travel into and out of the affected area is restricted. Local authorities will issue special permits to ensure the continued operation of supply chains and have implemented a system allowing residents to ensure their needs are met at varying times. Authorities are monitoring the epidemiological situation throughout Jordan and will continue to enact lockdowns on locations with increased COVID-19 activity.
Jordan will also reopen several of its land border crossings beginning Oct. 29 in accordance with health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The crossings that will reopen are the Al-Mudawara border crossing, the King Hussein Bridge, and the Sheikh Hussein Bridge. Travelers who wish to transit the land border crossings must complete a Travel Declaration Form, where they will be required to submit personal information and obtain a QR code. Travelers must also provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days prior to their travel date; a second COVID-19 test will be administered at the border crossing. Instructions for self-quarantine will vary according to the traveler's country of origin. The number of travelers will be limited to between 100-150 travelers per day at each of the crossings. The Omari border crossing will continue receiving cargo shipments and diplomatic missions. Authorities previously reopened the Nasib-Jaber border crossing with Syria to trade.
A 24-hour nationwide curfew is in effect on Fridays through the end of 2020. Officials will permit Friday prayers from 1215-1315 so long as worshippers travel to the mosque on foot, wear protective face coverings, and adhere to social distancing measures. A nationwide curfew between the hours of 2300-0600 for individuals and 2200-0600 for businesses is in effect nightly, excluding Fridays, until further notice. Individuals in Jordan are required to stay in their homes and limit nonessential movement for the duration of the curfew. Medical personnel and other essential workers are exempt from the measure. Jordanian armed forces have deployed across all governorates to enforce compliance.
The government has released a list of country classifications for flight arrivals based on the originating country's COVID-19 activity levels. The government is using a three-tier, color-coded system for classifying foreign countries according to COVID-19 activity following the resumption of international commercial flights at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM). Under the system, the green designation denotes that a country has low disease activity; yellow and red designations indicate moderate and high activity, respectively. Entry requirements for travelers vary according to the classification of their country of origin. Authorities plan to re-evaluate the COVID-19 activity levels and update country classifications every two weeks.
All travelers entering Jordan must present proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 no more than five days before their scheduled flight, as well as proof that they spent the 14 days prior to travel in the country from which they are departing. Travelers are required to test again at their own expense upon arrival in Jordan. Authorities may require a minimum of one week of self-isolation to a maximum of two weeks of quarantine for arriving passengers depending on the country the passenger's country of origin. Travelers who test positive or fail to present the requisite negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival will be quarantined at a government-run facility for two weeks.
Weddings, funerals, and other social gatherings are limited to 20 people. Participants of such events are required to wear protective face coverings and abide by social-distancing precautions. Authorities announced that they would strictly enforce the gathering limits due to increased COVID-19 activity; organizers of gatherings exceeding 20 people may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
Domestically, nonessential travel between governorates is now permitted. Hotels, restaurants, and tourist sites nationwide have resumed operations. Public transportation is operating at reduced capacity. Across the country, residents must wear face coverings and gloves while in public places; violators may be subject to fines. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
Jordan's travel restrictions and preventive measures are similar to those taken by other governments 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.