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  HOME | Business & Economy (Click here for more)

Jordan to Reopen Economy after Strict Coronavirus Lockdown

AMMAN – The Jordanian government announced on Sunday it would resume all economic activities, except for the hospitality and leisure sector, after a month-and-a-half of strict coronavirus lockdown.

The measure comes as no new confirmed coronavirus cases were registered in the kingdom in the past 24 hours.

All businesses will be allowed to operate again “at full capacity” starting next Wednesday provided that the Jordanian manpower employed there is not less than 75 percent, Trade and Industry Minister Tareq Hammouri said at a presser.

Foreign workers in Jordan, who number 352,000 according to official figures, have until Monday to apply for permission to leave the country.

Schools, universities and sport and cultural centers remain closed as will restaurants and cafeterias, although they will be allowed to deliver food, Al-Hammouri added.

Mosques and other religious venues, parks, pools, movie theaters, exhibitions and other public spaces remain closed.

Transportation will be fully resumed within the provinces, while people can use their vehicles in their region of residence up until 6 pm local time.

Since April 29, Jordanians have been allowed to travel around using their own vehicles albeit with a maximum of two passengers at a time and on alternate days, according to license plate.

Previously, Jordanians were permitted to move about only on foot to buy basic supplies in their respective neighborhoods.

On March 21, Jordan imposed strict measures to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus, including a 24-hour curfew that lasted for four days.

The authorities strictly implemented the lockdown measures, with thousands of people being fined and having their cars confiscated for breaching the restrictions.

The authorities will continue to inspect business locations to make sure the preventive measures continue to be respected, the minister said on Sunday.

A total of 12,661 businesses and shops have been inspected, out of which 615 have been shut down for not complying with the rules, he added.

Finance Minister Mohammad al-Essis, meanwhile, predicted that Jordan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will contract by 3.4 percent this year, as the coronavirus crisis has had “a profound effect” on the country’s economy.

The kingdom, which has 10 million residents, has reported 461 coronavirus cases and nine deaths.

 

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