Jordan has been one of the first countries in the world to enforce very strict containment efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It banned flights from affected areas beginning in February, and expanded the banned destinations until it culminated in a total ban and the closure of all land, sea and air borders.
Jordan has been completely cut off from the outside world since mid-March, and travellers on flights arriving shortly before that date were required to spend a two-week long quarantine at 5 star resorts in the Dead Sea and Amman, as guests of the Jordanian government. This has ensured that none of the travellers that were carrying the disease could infect others in the country before they had recovered.
Jordanians have been under curfew since the 18th of March, with all businesses other than those selling foodstuffs ordered to stay shut. This has paralysed business life, but has also spared the country from the kind of infections that our neighbours have had to endure. To date only 372 persons were infected in Jordan; not bad for a country of nearly 10 million inhabitants! This strict policy has been widely praised both internally and internationally, as these few painful weeks at the outset of the pandemic will allow Jordan to be completely disease free soon.
What is next?
The government has said that the restrictions on businesses opening and the movement of people will be lifted if two weeks pass without any new infections. Borders will only be opened once the situation internationally improves adequately in order not to allow the disease to be reintroduced to Jordan. This is quite a challenge, especially for a country where almost 18 % of GDP is reliant on tourism.
We in the travel industry are hoping that international borders will be reopened by July or August, we will keep you updated on developments as they happen. If you were planning on visiting Jordan, maybe it will be worth postponing your trip till the autumn.