Authorities in Jordan shortened the nationwide weekend curfew to a 24-hour curfew on Fridays only, starting Oct. 23; the curfew was previously in effect from 0100 Friday-0100 Sunday. The curfew will remain in effect through the end of 2020 as part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials will permit Friday prayers from 1215-1315 so long as worshippers travel to the mosque on foot, wear facemasks, and adhere to social distancing measures. Additionally, authorities have extended the nationwide nightly curfew to 2300-0600 for individuals and 2200-0600 for businesses on all days besides Fridays until further notice from Oct. 24; the nightly curfew was previously in effect 0100-0600 for individuals and 0001-0600 for businesses. 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 Sept. 8 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.
Authorities in Jordan have reopened the Nasib-Jaber border crossing with Syria to trade after closing in mid-August due to an increase in COVID-19 cases originating in Syria. The reopening was accompanied by new measures, such as back-to-back handling of goods by traders, put in place to limit the risk of exposure to Jordanian customs officials. The Nasib-Jaber crossing is the main thoroughfare for goods traveling from Lebanon and Syria to the Gulf region.
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.