Jordan to reopen main airport from next week

By: AFP      Published: 11:01 PM, 2 Sep, 2020
Jordan to reopen main airport from next week

Jordan has said it will reopen its main airport to regular flights from next Tuesday, after an almost six-month shutdown over novel coronavirus fears.

The move comes as the desert kingdom, which depends heavily on tourism, tries to revive an economy badly hit by the pandemic.

"The coronavirus crisis cell has decided to resume regular flights through the Queen Alia International Airport from September 8," Information Minister Amjad al-Adayla said at a press conference.

He added that authorities would set out rules for incoming passengers depending on the epidemiological situation in their countries of provenance, with all travellers tested for the Covid-19 illness on arrival. 

The kingdom, which has recorded 2,161 cases of the virus including 15 deaths, imposed a tough curfew enforced with drones to curb the spread of Covid-19, before easing measures in early June.

It closed its airports in mid-March and suspended international flights, crippling a tourism industry that hosts five million visitors a year, generates 14 percent of GDP and employs some 100,000 people.

The pandemic also hit the country's lucrative medical tourism industry. Around a quarter of a million people a year used to visit Jordan for treatment before the pandemic broke out, bringing in some $1.5 billion.