Jordan to Reopen for Tourism on August 5

Nationals and residents of 22 low-risk countries will be granted quarantine-free entry from that date.

The iconic Treasury in Jordan’s ancient Nabatean city of Petra. (Photo: Alex Vasey/Unsplash)

Housebound travelers aching to explore Petra and the Mars-like desert landscapes of Wadi Rum can take heart: Jordan has now set a definitive date for the resumption of international flights. According to local media outlet Roya News, Minister of Transport Khalid Saif announced yesterday that the country would reopen its airports on August 5, more than four months after all passenger traffic was halted. Saif also said planes flying to and from Jordan would be allowed to operate at full capacity.

The Jordanian government is keen to revive the tourism sector by selectively admitting travelers through a color-coded “traffic light” system similar to that used by the United Kingdom. Nearly two dozen countries have been placed in the “green” low-risk category; arrivals from these nations will be exempt from a mandatory 14-day quarantine, so long as they carry a negative result through a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Jordan’s Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission says the list will be reviewed and updated every two weeks, in line with the developing pandemic situation in each country.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Thai and Malaysian citizens will soon be eligible to visit Jordan, alongside residents of New Zealand, Taiwan, and China. Predictably, Japan and Australia have been left off the list of “green” countries in light of the worsening coronavirus outbreaks in Tokyo and Melbourne.

 

The full list of low-risk countries is as follows:

Asia-Pacific: China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand

Europe: Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland

North America: Canada, Greenland

 

Aside from taking a PCR test, prospective visitors must pay for and fill out an online health declaration form at least 24 hours before departure. These will each cost 40 Jordanian dinar (about US$56), the same rate as a tourist visa on arrival. Travelers should expect another Covid-19 test upon disembarking the plane in Amman and Aqaba; they will also need to present valid travel insurance at immigration. Incoming tourists are required to download Aman—the Jordanian government’s contact-tracing app—before flying out from their points of origin, and have it activated throughout their stay.

Jordan has avoided a major Covid-19 outbreak so far, thanks in large part to a quick response that involved closing borders and implementing strict lockdown measures as early as March 17. The latest official figures show 1,168 confirmed Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, including 11 deaths. As of July 27, just 110 active cases remain in the country.

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