Jordan mosques reopen after 7-week closure amid coronavirus lockdown

Jordan mosques reopen after 7-week closure amid coronavirus lockdown
Jordan is opening mosques after 11-weeks being closed due to Covid-19 concerns.
2 min read
05 June, 2020
Jordan has coronavirus [Getty]

After an 11-week closure to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Jordan's mosques reopened their doors on Friday amid strict health measures.

The decision was announced by the government last week, allowing attendance to noon prayers on Friday only and also allowing churches to reopen on Sunday.

Authorities amended curfew measures so that people could go to mosques on foot.

Contrary to tradition, worshippers sat far apart from each other and had to bring their own prayer mats. They also wore face masks.

Mohammad Okkeh, Amman resident, told AP News: "I'm very very happy, because I used to come here on foot to pray on Friday at Al-Husseini mosque, and today, I'm very glad and I feel comfortable."

"Thanks to Allah, it is a great feeling to return back to Allah's house, this makes us feel comfortable and blessed, and we are happy that Allah has removed this crisis and we pray to Allah to remove this pandemic from our country,” said Anwar Hassan, another Amman resident.

Jordan's government imposed a lockdown in mid-March aimed at containing the virus, halting travel and public gatherings, and forcing private and public sectors to close.

Many of the restrictions have been lifted gradually in recent weeks as the rate of new infections has significantly declined.

Jordan has recorded 765 cases and just nine deaths from the coronavirus.

Jordan announced Thursday it will lift most restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, with mosques, restaurants and churches allowed to reopen.

There will be "a period of general easing" of the lockdown, Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz told reporters on Thursday.

Information Minister Amjad al-Adayleh said most restrictions imposed over the last two months to rein in the virus would be lifted from Saturday.

The announcements come amid a decline in confirmed new infections to less than 10 per day over the last week.

Jordan has confirmed a cumulative total of 765 cases of the respiratory disease in the kingdom, of which just nine have been fatal.

Mosques, churches, ports, business activities, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to re-open and travel between cities will also be authorised from Saturday, authorities say.

Tourism activities will also be allowed for Jordanian residents, with internal flights resuming and hotels re-opening.

But schools, universities and cinemas will stay closed and a suspension of international flights will remain.

Social distancing measures will also stay in place, authorities say.

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