Coronavirus: Jordan to resume regular commercial flights from September 8

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Jordan will resume regular international flights from September 8 to help revive an economy badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, after delaying the move several times over the past month, officials said on Wednesday.

Government spokesman Amjad Adailah told a news conference that passengers entering Jordan would need proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel, alongside a compulsory test on arrival.

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He said the rules would include a minimum of one week of self-isolation to a maximum two weeks of quarantine for foreign travelers depending on the severity of the pandemic in countries they came from.

The government had repeatedly postponed reopening Amman’s Alia International Airport, a regional hub, over fears that travelers could bring about a spike in infections. But in recent days worries had mounted about the impact of further delays on the debt-burdened economy.

Jordan has seen almost a doubling of cases in the last month to a total of 2,161 along with 15 deaths - a much smaller known toll than in many other Middle East countries - but authorities remain worried about a severe outbreak.

The closure of Amman’s airport dealt a damaging blow to the aid-dependent economy by paralyzing tourism, a major revenue source that was enjoying an unprecedented boom before the pandemic crisis.

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The government was also under popular pressure to reopen regular flights to allow the return of thousands of Jordanians who lost jobs in Gulf states due to COVID-19 outbreaks there.

The halt to commercial flight service also inflicted millions of dollars of losses on Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ), the state-owned flagship carrier, industry executives say.

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