Jordan to lift virus curfew by end of next month

Interior minister says curfew will end by July 1 but it's 'too early' to lift emergency law

People wear protective face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19),  at a shop in downtown Amman, Jordan, May 3, 2021. Picture taken May 3, 2021. REUTERS/Muath Freij
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Jordan will gradually end a coronavirus curfew next month as part of a plan to reopen the economy, its Interior Minister said on Wednesday.

But it is “too early” to lift the emergency law that was activated at the onset of the pandemic, Mazen Al Faraya told state television.

Mr Al Faraya said the curfew from 11pm to 6am would be completely lifted by July 1.

It and other virus restrictions such as bans on assembly were enacted under the emergency law.

But Mr Al Faraya said “the crisis is not over”, with infections and deaths from the virus continuing in the country of 10 million.

The authorities introduced the emergency law in March last year.

That month, they arrested hundreds who marched in demonstrations across Jordan after seven coronavirus patients died in a government hospital that ran out of oxygen.

The latest government data on Wednesday shows that 12 people died of the virus and 842 were infected in the previous 24 hours.

This brings the official death toll from the virus in Jordan to 9,407, with 734,000 infections.

Doctors say the actual number of people who have been infected is much higher.

The authorities have been easing virus restrictions in the past six weeks because of a declining rate in infections and deaths, and a need to lift the economy out of recession.

The economy retracted 3 per cent last year, after a decade of stagnation. Unemployment is at a high of 24 per cent.

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