Jordan begins compulsory quarantining of all arrivals

Arrivals, regardless of nationality, are being taken to hotels in Amman and the Dead Sea area, the government said Monday

Planes that belong to the Royal Jordanian Airlines and other companies are parked at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan February 23, 2020. Picture taken February 23, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

All arrivals to Jordan will be subject to compulsory quarantine, the kingdom has announced.

Those arriving at airports and border crossings will be taken to hotels in the Dead Sea region and Amman for a period of 14 days. Families of those arriving in Jordan have been also banned from going to airports and border crossings to collect them.

Jordan's Minister of State for Information Affairs, Amjad Awda Al Adayleh, said on Monday the measures would be implemented immediately to "prevent the spread of infection and protect the health of citizens and arrivals."

A spokesperson from the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Resort told The National the hotel was expecting quarantined individuals and had no other guests. The Movenpick Resort and Dead Sea Spa it could not confirm it was one of the hotels, but said it was not taking bookings.

The measures are a step further from an announcement on Saturday that all flights to and from Jordan would be suspended from March 17.

A video purportedly showing passengers being held in Amman's Queen Alia Airport showed a police officer shouting "if your are afraid for yourself [from the virus] go back".

Another clip shows passengers asking where they will be staying, as a man in blue scrubs wearing a medical mask confirms the Dead Sea.

A spokesman for Jordan's Public Security Directorate said his organisation had instituted security measures around hotels in the Dead Sea area, Jordanian news service Al Ghad reported.

Jordan has confirmed 16 cases of coronavirus, known as Covid-19, including five Jordanian citizens, six French citizens and an Iraqi national.

Queen Alia Airport confirmed visitors to the airport to collect friends and family were banned.

"During this period, only arriving and departing passengers may be present," a statement posted to Twitter read.

Jordan's King Abdullah chaired a meeting on Covid-19 on Sunday, stressing government departments should work together to combat the spread of the disease.

It came as Prime Minister Omar Razzaz urged Jordanians not to give in to panic. “We all saw the panic and hoarding of food last night after the government announced its latest measures to battle the spread of the coronavirus. I assure you, no such measures are necessary,” he said in a statement.