Jordan reopens main airport after six-month shutdown to combat coronavirus

A health worker checks a passenger arriving at Queen Alia International Airport after a regular international flights resume after a closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Amman, Jordan, Sept. 8, 2020. (The Prime Ministry Office via Reuters)
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Updated 08 September 2020

Jordan reopens main airport after six-month shutdown to combat coronavirus

  • Passengers entering need proof of negative COVID-19 test, alongside compulsory test on arrival

AMMAN: Jordan resumed regular international flights on Tuesday after being suspended for nearly six months because of the novel coronavirus epidemic, officials said.
They said Queen Alia international airport would initially handle six flights a day before expanding to ensure that airport authorities can enforce strict social distancing and other health rules.
The government had repeatedly postponed reopening Jordan’s main airport, a regional hub which normally handles around nine million passengers annually, over fears that travelers could bring about an increase in infections.




Health workers wait for the passengers to check them at Queen Alia International Airport after a regular international flights resume after a closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Amman, Jordan, Sept. 8, 2020. (The Prime Ministry Office via Reuters)

The airport, however, was open for repatriation flights arranged for citizens in the Gulf and Europe and also for foreigners resident in Jordan who want to leave.
Passengers entering Jordan would need proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel, alongside a compulsory test on arrival, officials 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.




A health worker checks a passenger arriving at Queen Alia International Airport after a regular international flights resume after a closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Amman, Jordan, Sept. 8, 2020. The Prime Ministry Office via Reuters)

Although Jordan has seen a spike in infections in the last few weeks, the country remains one of the least affected in the Middle East, with 2,581 infections and 17 deaths.
The closure of the airport since mid March has worsened the economic damage wrought by the pandemic on Jordan’s aid-dependent economy.
Tourism is a major source of foreign currency and had been enjoying an unprecedented boom before the pandemic.


Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

Updated 1 min 18 sec ago

Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

BEIRUT: Three-time Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was named to the post for a fourth time Thursday and immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan.
Hariri said he would “form a cabinet of non politically aligned experts with the mission of economic, financial and administrative reforms contained in the French initiative roadmap.”
“I will work on forming a government quickly because time is running out and this is the only and last chance facing our country,” he added.
President Michel Aoun named Hariri to form a new cabinet to lift the country out of crisis after most parliamentary blocs backed his nomination.
Hariri, who has previously led three governments in Lebanon, stepped down almost a year ago under pressure from unprecedented protests against the political class.
“The president summoned... Saad Al-Deen Al-Hariri to task him with forming a government,” a spokesman for the presidency said.
Hariri was backed by a majority of 65 lawmakers, while 53 abstained.
Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades and still reeling from a devastating port blast that killed more than 200 people and ravaged large parts of Beirut in August.
Aoun warned Wednesday that the new prime minister, the third in a year, would have to spearhead reforms and battle corruption.
A relatively unknown diplomat, Mustapha Adib, had been nominated in late August following the resignation of his predecessor Hassan Diab’s government in the aftermath of the deadly port blast.
Adib had vowed to form a cabinet of experts, in line with conditions set by French President Emmanuel Macron to help rescue the corruption-ridden country from its worst ever economic crisis.
He faced resistance from some of the main parties however and threw in the towel nearly a month later, leaving Lebanon rudderless to face soaring poverty and the aftermath of its worst peacetime disaster.