Jordan blew sirens at the start of a nationwide curfew on Saturday, limiting the mobility of its 10 million citizens indefinitely to combat the spread of
coronavirus, witnesses and officials said.
Anyone violating the curfew, which severely restricts movement beyond emergencies and essential services, would be
jailed up to a year, the army said.
The curfew, in which thousands of soldiers have been deployed inside cities and on main highways across the country, is in place until further notice.
Jordan has closed land and sea border crossings with Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Israel, and suspended all incoming and outgoing flights since Tuesday.
King Abdullah enacted an emergency decree giving the government sweeping powers to enforce an army-imposed curfew and other measures that restrict civil and political liberties.
The curfew came after officials criticized the presence of many people on the streets even after warnings to stay at home, a ban on gatherings and public worship, and suspension of work for civil servants and private companies.
Health Minister Saad Jaber said on Friday that Jordan had 85 confirmed cases of coronavirus, after 15 new cases were identified, with officials warning that numbers could rise.