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Jordan to undergo total curfew on Fridays for rest of year — PM

Online education to continue until end of 1st semester; agreement reached to lower private school fees by 15%; new regulations limit restaurant seating capacity

By JT - Oct 21,2020 - Last updated at Oct 21,2020

An empty downtown Amman is seen during the 48-hour total weekend lockdown on Saturday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The Kingdom will undergo a 24-hour comprehensive curfew on Fridays until December 31 as of this weekend, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh announced Tuesday.

Speaking during a press briefing at the Prime Ministry announcing a raft of new health measures, the PM said that a comprehensive curfew spanning two or three weeks will have a severe economic impact on many sectors.

As of Saturday, businesses and institutions will be allowed to operate between 6am until 10pm and public movement will be allowed from 6am until 11pm, the premier said.

As for remote education for schools and universities, Khasawneh said that it will continue until the end of the first semester.

He noted that the government has reached an agreement with the majority of private schools to lower fees by 15 per cent during the remote education period. 

The PM said defence orders will be issued limiting the seating capacity at restaurants to only 50 per cent and restricting the number of guests to six per table.

Defence orders will also be issued banning coffee shops from offering argileh indoors regardless of the weather conditions, he noted.

Khasawneh said that the new procedures will undergo regular assessment.

The Health Ministry has secured fivefold of its annual reserve of seasonal flu vaccine, the PM said.

Also speaking during the briefing, Health Minister Nathir Obeidat said that Jordan entered the community transmission phase of the pandemic on September 16 and has started to witness a remarkable increase in registered cases since then.

The ministry is closely following up with companies that might be able to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Obeidat said, stressing that the ministry will secure the vaccine once it is manufactured.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Ayed said that the government is scheduled this week to announce a mechanism for the return of Jordanians through land crossings.

Speaking at the briefing, Ayed highlighted the importance of adhering to safety and preventive measures, noting that the government will toughen inspection procedures at ministries and public and private institutions.

The prime minister will issue new defence orders covering new health measures, he added.

All decisions made by the government are aimed at preserving public health and serving the interest of citizens and the Kingdom, the media minister said.

He stressed that these decisions are subject to change and the government has the “courage” to amend, annul or continue applying them according to developments in the epidemiological situation.

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