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Gov’t to extend curfew as of Saturday

Businesses allowed to operate until 6pm, public movement restricted from 7pm

By JT - Mar 11,2021 - Last updated at Mar 11,2021

Police officers are seen manning a street in downtown Amman in this recent photo (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The government on Wednesday announced new measures to curb the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the Kingdom.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Sakher Dudin, Minister of Health Nathir Obeidat, Minister of Interior Mazen Faraiah, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Khalaileh and President of Jordan Churches Council Archbishop Christophorus Attallah held a joint press briefing to acquaint the public with the new measures.

Dudin initially reassured the public that a lengthy lockdown will not be imposed in the foreseeable future.

Businesses will be allowed to operate from 6am until 6pm while public movement will be restricted from 7pm until 6am, starting from Saturday, March 13 until further notice, he said.

In contrast, people will still be able to benefit from delivery services during the curfew until midnight.

As an exclusion, curfew hours for the agricultural sector will extend only from 7pm until 5am, Dudin noted.  

Dudin announced that worshippers will no longer be permitted to head to mosques on foot to attend Friday prayer, adding that Sunday masses held in churches will be similarly suspended until the end of March.

Working hours will be reduced for workers in the public sector, Dudin highlighted, adding that working mothers for children in kindergarten and 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders will be working remotely.

Closures will also involve shutting down bars, nightclubs, discos, bars at restaurants, gyms, academic and training sports centres, equestrian clubs and indoor swimming pools until the end of March, he noted.

Additionally, sectors that have been previously shut down in accordance with the issued defence orders will be exempted from licence fees and property taxes for the year 2021, the government spokesperson stressed.

The media minister also said that the capacity of means of transport will be reduced to 50 per cent instead of 75 per cent until March 31.

Answering a question related to the upcoming municipal elections, Dudin confirmed that no elections of any sort will be conducted amid the current epidemiological condition.

Obeidat noted that controlling the surge in coronavirus cases will require weeks of intensified efforts, stressing that the government’s measures are not arbitrary but are based on epidemiological, statistical studies.

He called on the public to register for receiving the coronavirus vaccine, reiterating the difficulty of securing the vaccine amid a global competition.

All governorate officials and security forces were directed to “strictly and cautiously” implement all government decisions pertaining to tackling the spread of coronavirus, Faraiah said, noting that participating in funeral and celebratory ceremonies will be banned.

According to statistics, Jordan registers one coronavirus positive case every four minutes, Faraiah said.

Both Khalaileh and Atallah urged worshippers to adhere to health measures, encouraging them to perform their prayers at home.

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