Jordan takes major step towards post-coronavirus normality

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AMMAN (DNA) -The Jordanian government is moving ahead with steps to resume most economic activities and end movement restrictions after months of lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Starting on Saturday, business activities, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers again while a ban on travel between cities will also be lifted.

Residents will be able to use their vehicles daily between 6am and 12pm without the need for special permits, while domestic flights will also resume.

Authorities have also allowed regular and congregational prayers at the country’s mosques and churches provided that worshippers will obey physical-distancing guidelines and wear face masks.

International travel, however, will remain shuttered for now, while schools, colleges, kindergartens, public parks, movie theatres and festival activities will also stay closed.

With a total of 784 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, including 571 recoveries and nine related deaths, Jordan has a pandemic situation that is now classified as “moderate risk” – a level above the lowest category of “low risk”, Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz said on Thursday.

The lifting of the restrictions comes more than months since King Abdullah on March 17 approved a national defence law that gives the government sweeping powers to enforce a state of emergency.

As part of the emergency measures, Jordan closed its airspace and land border crossings to all commercial passenger travel in and out of out of the country to help it combat the coronavirus pandemic.