Published 22 Jul,2020 via The Jordan Times AMMAN — Procedures for the gradual reopening of the airport were announced on Tuesday during a meeting at the Prime Ministry, with the first batch of flights arriving in the first-half of August, according to Minister of State and Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh.
Jordan on March 17 closed its airports for regular travel as part of coronavirus protection measures, which Adaileh said was an “effective decision” as proven by the “calm health situation and low case numbers” in the Kingdom.
Adaileh noted that “even at the beginning of the pandemic, bringing back our sons and daughters was among the government's priorities, but given that Jordan is at the lower-mild stage, it is time to gradually bring back commercial flights”.
The lower-mild stage, also called the “blue stage”, is part of the government’s coronavirus response plan that allows the reopening of airports with regards to health and safety precautions, according to Adaileh.
Flights will be open to countries with a similar virus situation to that of the Kingdom, most important of which are “green” countries, which require simplified health and safety procedures.
“Green countries” include: Austria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand.
The government is also working on classifying “yellow” countries, which require relatively simplified quarantine procedures, and “red” countries, which require extra health, safety and quarantine procedures.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Saad Jaber said that 46 virus cases, all from abroad, were registered in the Kingdom on Tuesday.
The new cases bring the Kingdom’s caseload down to 1,113 based on WHO’s instructions to exclude non-Jordanian cases that were sent back to their countries without being treated in Jordan to prevent the duplication of cases in two countries, the minister said.
Jaber noted that the number of total cases, active cases, deaths, critical cases and the number of tests conducted were all taken into account when deciding the “green countries”.
“This is a dynamic situation, some countries were green and turned yellow in a matter of days while the others vice versa. This is a pandemic and things could change,” he added.
Minister of Transport Khalid Saif said: “Though resuming air travel is important, the citizens’ safety is more important. The reopening of the airport does not imply that the situation is now back to normal.”
He said that tourists and citizens will be asked to fill out forms regarding their situation, as well as a negative PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test result not older than 72 hours.
Arrivals also have to download the Aman (Safety) application before their flight and have to prove that they were in a “green country” 14 days prior to their arrival.
Non-Jordanian citizens will be asked to provide active insurance in the Kingdom as well.
Once the request for return is approved, citizens will be provided with a QR (Quick Response) code that they could be asked to present at any time during airport procedures.
Upon arrival, passengers will have to undergo thermal screening and PCR scan. Visitors will not be able to leave the airport until they have received their results, the minister said.
Jaber noted that the airport will have 11 units for virus tests as well as 22 labs, with the capacity to conduct 260 tests per hour and 5,000 tests per day.
Jordan Tourism Board Director General Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat said that tourism was one of the first sectors to reopen and the last to close, noting that domestic tourism has been reopened, with 36,000 citizens registering with the Jannaj.Jo platforms.
He also noted that the service tax will be reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent.
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