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The New Arab Staff

Jordan reimposes Friday curfew as Covid-19 cases surge

Jordan started its inoculation drive last month [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 February, 2021

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As Jordan witnesses a surge in Covid-19 cases, authorities announced an all-day curfew on Fridays to help stem the rise in numbers.
Jordan reimposed an all-day curfew on Fridays to stem the spread of coronavirus as cases rise, officials said on Wednesday.

"Starting this week, the government is imposing a curfew throughout the kingdom from 10pm (2000 GMT) Thursdays until 6am Saturdays," Information Minister Ali al-Ayed said in a statement.

Walking to a mosque for Friday prayers, however, is permitted, he said.

An existing nightly curfew will begin at 10pm instead of midnight, while from Sunday a maximum of 30 percent of public-sector employees will be allowed at their workplace.

The toughening of Covid-19 restrictions returns Jordan to rules imposed in March last year, and which were only eased last month.

Hundreds of thousands of students in Jordan went back to classrooms after almost a year of school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This included kindergarten and early elementary school levels, as well as students in their final year of high school.

At the time, education and health ministries said another 1.4 million students across the country will return gradually until March 7.

However, Health Minister Nazir Obeidat on Wednesday said: "The kingdom has witnessed a rapid spread of Covid in recent weeks. This is why swift and strict measures are needed.”

Read also: The geopolitics of vaccine diplomacy in the Middle East

Jordan, which began vaccinations last month, has officially recorded more than 376,000 novel coronavirus cases and over 4,600 deaths out of a population of 10.5 million people.

The inoculation drive was also launched at the huge Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees, in a world first.

Jordan hosts 663,000 Syrian refugees registered with the United Nations. It started a campaign of free vaccinations of registered refugees on January 13. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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